EXCLUSIVE: BBC EastEnders star teases huge change for Jack Branning after Denise marriage heartbreak

Jack Branning's marriage to Denise Fox hit the rocks earlier year when he learnt she momentarily succumbed to temptation with Ravi Gulati, but the couple have since reunited

Jack Branning and Denise Fox

Jack Branning and Denise Fox reunited after a tough start to married life (

Image: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders’ Jack Branning star Scott Maslen has teased a huge change for the Walford detective after a tumultuous year which saw him split before reuniting with his wife Denise Fox.

The Branning-Fox family have been through a lot in recent months with Jack’s teenage son becoming a father, his daughter suffering with mental health issues and Denise being seduced by bad boy Ravi. Despite their problems, Jack and Denise are now stronger than ever, but could a new storyline rock the couple yet again?

Speaking to The Mirror at the National Television Awards earlier this year, BBC soap star Scott revealed he is always prepared for the Albert Square police detective to surprise him. He said: “I hear from actors, ‘My character wouldn’t do that,’ and I always say, ‘Well, you’re not going to last long in the game.’

“If you want to be long in the game, your character is gonna go a lot of places so be prepared and it’s fun. It’s really good at EastEnders at the minute they’ve got it back to it being about storylines and about characters.”


BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

“There’s a lot of great families and it isn’t weak in any areas. I think we’re in a really good place and it’s inspiring. They’ve brought in some great new actors, some from the past for that nostalgic element. EastEnders has that umbrella of so many different generations and you can’t cut out any of them, you’ve got to paint us all. We’ve got a great cast, it’s a very exciting time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jack is in store for a huge shock in the coming months when his daughter Penny returns after 15 years living in France with her mum, Selina. She will return with Lauren Branning, played by Jacqueline Jossa, but viewers will have to wait to find out what brings the two back to Walford.

Rising star Kitty Castledine has been cast as Penny in her first major television role after graduating from the London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA) this summer. Speaking of joining the show, Kitty said: “I didn’t expect to start my EastEnders journey so soon out of drama school – I can’t actually believe it! My whole family are EastEnders fans, and I remember sitting on my Nanny Kay’s lap to tune in, and now they get to watch me in Albert Square. The inclusion of disabled talent on screen is so important to me as a wheelchair user, so I’m thrilled to be playing a character as feisty and cool as Penny. She’s thrown into the middle of the drama straight away, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to.”

EastEnders Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw said: “It’s been a long time since Penny Branning was in Walford, and she’s a very different person from the one our viewers might remember. Kitty is a terrific addition to the show, and we’re looking forward to seeing Penny back in Albert Square.”

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