It seems that Lauren Branning won’t be returning to EastEnders alone…
Actress Jacqueline Jossa is reprising her role as the popular character in the BBC One soap later this year, but what brings her back to Walford remains shrouded in mystery.
Lauren last appeared in June in a special episode set in France where fans saw her and her son Louie Beale reunite with former partner Peter Beale (Thomas Law) before the discovery that Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) was alive put an end to hopes of her and Peter reconciling.
However, Lauren will soon be returning to Albert Square full-time and RadioTimes.com had to ask executive producer Chris Clenshaw about the big return in our big new EastEnders winter preview.
Discussing Lauren’s return, Chris noted: “Having Lauren back is brilliant. I think, you know, with the Beales, with Ian and Peter back in Warford, it felt right that Lauren should return too.
“We last saw her briefly in France with Peter where we thought that there was a lot of hope that they could reconcile their relationship then she was horrified to learn that Cindy was alive.
“And you know, therefore there’s a lot more fun for her to deal with you know, we last saw her in Walford briefly when she was here for Dot’s funeral but she hasn’t properly, you know, been been back since Abi died after falling off the roof of the Queen Vic, so it’s not going to be easy for Lauren when she returns.”
One discovery that Lauren feels destined to make is that she has a secret half-sister in the form of toddler Annie Carter, the daughter of Lauren’s father Max Branning (Jake Wood) whom he conceived during an affair with married Linda Carter (Kellie Bright).
Chris teased: “And you know, what she has no idea about is that she has a sister living in the Vic.”
However, a more tantalising detail came from the producer when he revealed some tidbits about Lauren’s comeback.
Clenshaw continued: “But yeah, what can I tease? I suppose what can I say is when we first see Lauren, it won’t be in Walford…and she won’t be returning on her own.”
Now, it seems a given that Lauren will return with her son Louie, so who is this other return being teased?
Could Max Branning himself find his way back to Albert Square? Either way, there is bound to be drama ahead.