Cast Changes News

Jacqueline Jossa: ‘I’m itching to return to EastEnders’

© BBC / Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa, who plays Lauren Branning, has revealed she is eager to return to the soap full-time.

The actress took a year off filming after she gave birth to her first daughter, Ella. The fan-favourite character left the doom and gloom of Albert Square behind for a new life in New Zealand with Peter Beale. Lauren made a brief return in September for Max Branning’s murder trial.

Speaking to The Sun, the actress said: “To me, EastEnders is home and I could never imagine not going back. I feel ready now – Ella is at a good age. I don’t feel like I’m being a horrible mum, whereas before I was like: ‘No, I’m never leaving her, ever!’

“For myself, I really badly need to work. I’ve loved being all ‘baby, baby’, but I said to Daniel [Osborne] that now I need to get my life back in order. Your life can’t stop because you’ve got a baby – it can all fit in and work together.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 24/02/2015 - Programme Name: EastEnders - TX: 24/02/2015 - Episode: 5022 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: After revealing he’s moving to New Zealand and wants Lauren to go with him in last night’s episode (Monday 23rd), Peter (Ben Hardy) goes to visit Lucy’s grave and says his goodbyes. He is soon joined by Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa) and the two share their secrets. With the truth now out, will Lauren decide to go to New Zealand with Peter?  Peter Beale (BEN HARDY), Lauren Branning (JACQUELINE JOSSA) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

Lauren Branning left Walford with boyfriend Peter in February, before Jossa returned for a brief guest-stint in September.

“I’ve been itching to get back, and I get jealous when I see it. Lacey [Turner, who plays Stacey Branning] has been my idol since before I even joined the cast, and I watch her and can’t wait to get back and just smash it.

“I love a big, angry storyline. I just want more pain. It’s boring when they’re happy. EastEnders is best at misery, sadness and anger, and I just miss screaming, crying – they’re the scenes I am best at.”

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Tommy Giffen