It’s been nearly four years since Lauren Branning said goodbye to Walford—leaving Albert Square behind for a new life in New Zealand with son Louie. In that time, actress Jacqueline Jossa has been crowned Queen of the Jungle on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, welcomed her second daughter Mia, started her own performing arts academy for kids and built up a successful career as an influencer. But she hasn’t turned her back on acting entirely.
Jacqueline Jossa EastEnders plans
In an interview with The Mirror this week, Jac revealed that she will be returning to EastEnders. She said:
I’ll obviously go back at some point. But it would have to be the right storyline. As one of the biggest shows in the country, it would have to work for both them and me because they might not be ready for Lauren Branning, so it depends on timing.
Lauren Branning return
EastEnders producers reportedly asked Jacqueline to return as Lauren less than a year after her departure, but she turned them down to appear on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! instead. It’s not clear if she’s been asked back since, but a return would likely be popular with fans.
Most of Lauren’s immediate family are no longer on the Square—with sister Abi Branning killed off in 2017 and dad Max leaving earlier this year. However, her maternal aunt Rainie Cross is still a key part of the cast, as is her paternal uncle Jack Branning. Lauren’s baby daddy Peter Beale also returned to Walford in 2020—played by new actor Dayle Hudson—so there’s plenty of scope for storylines should Jacqueline Jossa return to EastEnders. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later!