EXCLUSIVE: Jacqueline Jossa’s EastEnders character Lauren Branning is already finding herself in trouble upon her return after five years, with police searching her bag
After a five-year hiatus, EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa is back and better than ever.
And as our exclusive photos demonstrate, things won’t be easy from the beginning. The 31-year-old Jacqueline, along with her on-screen cousin Penny (Kitty Casteldine), are back in Walford as Lauren Branning.
As soon as she sets foot on British soil again, a sniffer dog discovers something suspect in her backpack, leading to her imprisonment. Images depict Jacqueline, dressed as Lauren, being pulled over by an officer in costume.
The actress has been stopped and checked since she is wearing a casual clothing and is carrying a large blue bag. Still, there’s obviously a problem.
In a another picture, Jacqueline is shown getting upset as the arresting officer pulls her arms behind her back. Fans are in for a treat, even though it’s unclear what will happen to Lauren or the precise reason behind her imprisonment.
“Her old cast mates can’t wait to film with her as she’s such a pro with a great sense of humour,” an insider stated in reference to Jacqueline’s return. This week, it was revealed that Jacqueline will be resurrecting another former character.
Lauren and Penny Branning will return. Jack Branning’s (Scott Maslen) daughter Penny hasn’t appeared on EastEnders in fifteen years.
Kitty Castledine will take up Penny’s role, which was formerly held by Mia McKenna-Bruce. Fortunately, fans can’t be too upset that the character has a completely new appearance because it has been 15 years between appearances.
After being brutally attacked by one of dad Jack’s criminal acquaintances, Penny was rendered crippled. She later relocated to live with her mother Selina in France.
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.”
“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,” stated Chris Clenshaw, executive producer of EastEnders. We love Kitty’s addition to the programme, and we can’t wait for Penny to return to Albert Square.