EastEnders: Jacqueline Jossa ‘to return’ as Lauren Branning on BBC One soap for special episode

Jossa won ITV show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2019, a year after leaving Eastenders

Jacqueline Jossa is reportedly set to return to Eastenders as Lauren Branning to record a special episode, four years on from her last appearance in the BBC One soap.

Jossa played the role of Lauren from 2010 to 2018 and according to The Sun, she will return to Albert Square as part of a tribute to June Brown, who died aged 95 earlier this year.

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Speaking to The Sun, the source said “bosses got in touch with Jacq about returning for Dot’s special episode and she was more than happy to come back.

"She was back last week filming her little guest stint."

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June Brown was in Eastenders from 1985, before leaving in 2020 after 35 years. Specific details about the special episode have not yet been released but it has been announced that it will pay tribute by holding a funeral for the late actress’s character Dot Cotton.

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Shortly after her death, Eastenders released an official statement saying: "June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders’ finest moments.

“When you join EastEnders, there are some characters both on and off screen that are just iconic and June Brown, OBE, MBE is at the top of that list.”

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They added: “Her creation and portrayal of Dot Cotton made a huge impact in British television, she created iconic moments that not only entertained the nation but at times changed it a little for the better.”

Jossa’s exit scenes aired in 2018, and the door for her return remained wide open as her character left for New Zealand after her sister in the soap Abbie Branning died.

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After leaving the soap, Jossa appeared on I’m A Celebrity..Get Me Out Of Here in 2019 and won the show.

During her long eight year stint on Eastenders, Jossa won four awards including Best Newcomer in 2012, Best Actress in 2013, and Sexiest Female twice in 2014 and 2016.

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