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EastEnders recasts Branning family character ahead of return – and fans are not happy

EastEnders has welcomed back a slew of stars to the famous square this year – and now another character is coming back, but she’ll be looking completely different

In an unexpected change of events, Penny Branning’s return to EastEnders has been confirmed.

Scott Maslen’s character Penny is the daughter of Jack Branning; she hasn’t been seen on the soap opera in fifteen years. Fans will remember that she and her mother Selina (Daisy Beaumont) relocated to France.

With copper dad Jack, Penny had a tumultuous connection during her time at Albert Square. Additionally, one of his criminal accomplices ran her down and left her for dead, leaving her paraplegic from the waist down.

Following her three-month stay in the square, Penny moved to live permanently in France with her mother. The last instance of the character was in a 2020 argument between Jack and Max Branning.

However, Penny is returning to the soap opera after more than a decade away, although with a whole new cast member playing the role. Furthermore, she isn’t the only Branning returning.

Penny was portrayed by Mia McKenna-Bruce in the past; she is currently appearing in the critically praised movie How to Have Sex. However, Kitty Castledine has been cast in a new role for the character.

Kitty commented, “I can’t really believe I’m starting my EastEnders journey so soon out of drama school,” in reference to joining the show. All of my family members like seeing me at Albert Square. I remember watching EastEnders while perched on my Nanny Kay’s knee.

As a wheelchair user, I find it really important that disabled talent be represented on film, so I’m excited to be playing a character as spunky and cool as Penny. She’s thrust right into the thick of things, and I’m excited to watch what she does.

“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 program, and we can’t wait for Penny to return to Albert Square.

On X, the former Twitter, a user responded to the news that Penny was recast by writing, “Another recast as always makes you wonder do they even try to get back the original.” Another person said, “Really, at what point can you just concentrate on the characters you now have rather than bringing back previous characters every few months? When anything is overdone like way, it becomes quite monotonous and repetitious. Her return thrilled other admirers. “I forgot about Penny Jack’s daughter,” wrote one of the followers. Very happy about this. Another person exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, I’ve always believed that Penny ought to return! One More Brazen! In addition, I am so excited to have Lauren return to the square.

It’s believed Penny will be returning to the square with cousin Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa). The news of Jacqueline’s return was confirmed last month.

The soap opera star departed from EastEnders five years prior in order to focus on other endeavors. She went on to become the Queen of the Jungle on I’m A Celeb and signed a contract with InTheStyle. But she has now decided to go back, saying she can’t wait to “come home”.

Jacqueline expressed her excitement to The Sun on Sunday, saying it’s a “great time to be back” and that she’s “really excited.” She continued: “Walford holds a special place in my heart, so it really does feel like coming home.”

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