Jacqueline Jossa returning to EastEnders five years after quitting soap

Jacqueline Jossa is set to make an explosive return to EastEnders, five years after quitting the soap.

The 30 year old actress will reprise her role full time as Lauren Branning. She first took on the role in 2010 before going on to leave in 2018.

The show favourite made a brief return to Albert Square last December for soap legend Dot Cotton’s funeral, as well as an unannounced guest appearance in June.

Jacqueline confirmed the news to The Sun on Sunday, saying: “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 also added: “Walford holds a special place in my heart, so it really does feel like coming home.”

There's no doubt Lauren's return to Walford will be hugely dramatic, as she was last seen on screen earlier this year in a brief scene with ex-boyfriend Peter Beale (Thomas Law).

The couple's on-off romance began when they were teenagers and they are parents to son Louis, who has been living with Lauren in New Zealand ever since she left Walford.

Lauren was also left furious when she came face-to-face with Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins), who was previously believed to be dead until it was revealed she'd been in witness protection. Cindy has now returned to Walford with Ian and Peter.

A TV source hinted that there's big things in store for Jacqueline on the BBC soap, as her character has "a lot of history" but bosses are keeping tight-lipped about storylines.

“Jacqueline’s return as Lauren Branning is going to spell lots of drama in Albert Square. The character has a lot of history and scores to settle, she is definitely going to bring the drama," the source told The Sun.

They added: “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. Her old castmates can’t wait to start filming with her too as she’s such a pro and has a great sense of humour.”

After leaving EastEnders in 2018, Jacqueline went on to win I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! the following year, and then landed a six-figure deal with In The Style.

The star, who is mum to Ella, eight, and Mia, five, with her husband Dan Osborne, 32, also runs her own drama school, The Jac Jossa Academy, in South East London.

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