EastEnders icon announces return to soap after five years

An iconic EastEnders star is heading back to Albert Square, five years after quitting.

Jacqueline Jossa, who plays Lauren Branning, is set to make an explosive return to Walford, following a brief return last December for the funeral of Dot Cotton and a guest appearance in June for the comeback of Cindy Beale.

The 30-year-old I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner is due to stir up some trouble in her upcoming episodes, although details are being kept under wraps…

Speaking about her return, Jacqueline said: ‘I’m really excited. It’s such an amazing time to be back as there is so much buzz around EastEnders at the moment.

‘I’ve been watching and loving it like a fan.’

She added to The Sun on Sunday: ‘Walford holds a special place in my heart, so it really does feel like coming home.’

Hinting at exciting scenes to come, a TV insider added that there’s ‘a lot of history’.

However, bosses are keeping schtum to ensure maximum impact for fans.

A TV insider saod: ‘The character has a lot of history and scores to settle, she is definitely going to bring the drama.

‘Bosses are staying tight-lipped about when fans will see her return on-screen.

‘But it’s set to be around the end of the year and likely to coincide with the soap’s legendary festive storylines.’

The source added that Jacqueline’s old castmates ‘can’t wait to start filming with her’ as she’s ‘such a pro’ and has a ‘great sense of humour.’

It’s said that Jacqueline’s first storyline back will see her life intertwined with back-from-the-dead Cindy, who is played by Michelle Collins.

The fashion influencer and mum will start filming on the famous set at Elstree, Herts in a few weeks.

Speaking of bringing her back to the Square, executive producer Chris Clenshaw said he is ‘delighted’ to have made it happen.

‘We only saw Lauren on-screen a few of months ago, but her return left plenty of unfinished business between her and the Beales,’ he told The Sun.

‘The Branning family have a long history of being at the heart of the drama in Walford, and we’re thrilled to have Jacqueline back in the Square as she continues that family tradition.’

Jacqueline – who is married to former Towie star Dan Osborne – was just 17 years old when she joined EastEnders in 2010.

She’s certainly had her fair share of dramatic storylines over the years, including falling off a roof with sister Abi on Christmas Day, with her sibling sadly dying.

Jacqueline then left the much-loved soap in 2018 and was crowned Queen of the Jungle the following year, later signing a £1million deal with fast fashion giant In The Style.

She’s been married to Dan, 32, for six years and they share Ella, eight, and Mia, five.

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