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Jacqueline Jossa opens up about EastEnders exit for the first time

The EastEnders star has played Lauren Branning since 2010

Sharnaz Shahid

Jacqueline Jossa has opened up about her exit from EastEnders for the first time, confessing that she is looking forward to spending more time with her daughter. It was revealed earlier this year that Jacqueline and her on-screen sister Lorna Fitzgerald will be bowing out of the BBC soap as part of an explosive storyline over the festive period. Although nothing much about the plot has been revealed, the BBC have teased the fact that the Branning family will stage centre stage this Christmas following the exposure of Max's secrets.

Jacqueline Jossa has broken her silence on EastEnders exit

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"I'm sad, but I'm leaving when everyone else goes on their Christmas break, so that helps," Jacqueline, who has played Lauren Branning since 2010, revealed to Radio Times. "But I'm really looking forward to spending more time with Ella. I do feel I've missed stuff these past two years." Despite the departure, viewers have been promised a "catastrophic" Christmas episode on Albert Square. "It doesn't disappoint" the soap star added. "In fact, it's catastrophic, the worst one yet. We don't even get to sit down for Christmas dinner this year. The episodes are wicked."

The Branning family will take centre stage this Christmas

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It was confirmed in September that the Branning sisters would be leaving EastEnders as part of a big cast shake-up by TV boss John Yorke. A spokesperson at the time said: "We can confirm that Jacqueline and Lorna will be leaving EastEnders. They have both been wonderful to work with and we wish them all the best for the future." Lorna, who has played Abi since 2006, recently confessed that she was looking forward to new opportunities. Talking to the Metro, the 21-year-old actress confessed: "I've been here since I was ten so I am just going along with it, really. I have been here for a fantastic 11 years so I am just looking forward to what the future holds."

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