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Jo Joyner to make EastEnders return: 'I hope I didn't kill Lucy'

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Jo Joyner has confirmed that she is returning to EastEnders to reprise her role as Tanya Branning. The actress left the TV show in 2013, but will be making a special comeback for the soap's 30th anniversary celebrations next month. Jo confirmed that she will appear in at least two episodes, where her character will celebrate the marriage of her best friend Jane, played by Laurie Brett, to Ian Beale, portrayed by Adam Woodyatt. Her return may also shed some light as to who killed Lucy Beale – the murder storyline that has been running for the past year.


jo joyner1 © Photo: Getty Images

Jo Joyner will hit EastEnders screens next month as part of the show's 30th anniversary

While Tanya's family are all suspects in the case, actress Jo said that she hoped her character isn't revealed as the murderer. "I'm thrilled to be a part of the 30-year celebrations of a show that I am proud to have been a part of," said Jo. "One of the best things about soap is that it's steeped in history. We all had a generation of characters that we grew up with – mine were 'Chelle and Sharon, and Tiff and Bianca! It's great that people can pop back in and help create that depth to the show." She added: "I'm really looking forward to working with everyone again, no matter how briefly. I hope I didn't kill Lucy!"

jo joyner2 © Photo: Getty Images

Fans can expect to see fresh rivalry between Jake Wood and Jo Joyner's characters

Viewers can also expect to see Tanya and her ex-husband Max, played by Jake Wood, return to their old ways and clash in heated arguments. "Tanya and Max's rows were legendary and it's going to be thrilling to watch Jo and Jake go head-to-head again – but this time live," said producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, before adding that the 37-year-old star is "one of the best actresses the show has been lucky to have." Jo, who won The British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance in 2008 and 2012 for her role as Tanya, starred on the BBC show from 2006 to 2013. She left Albert Square to spend more time with her twins Freddie and Edie, who she welcomed in 2009. EastEnders' 30th anniversary week will air next month, starting on Monday 16 February.

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