EastEnders actress Jo Joyner delighted fans this week when she made a surprise return to the soap to reprise her role as Tanya Branning. Tanya had come back to Albert Square to take daughters Lauren and Abi back with her to start a new life, but tragically the pair were left fighting for their lives after plummeting off the roof of the Queen Vic in a bid to stop their dad, Max, from committing suicide. Jo has since taken to social media to post a number of behind-the-scenes photos from filming, including one of her and actress Jacqueline Jossa – which she captioned: "And the day you actually fell off that roof @jacjossa Ouch!"
STORY: Jacqueline Jossa opens up about EastEnders exit for the first time
EastEnders stars Jo Joyner and Jacqueline Jossa
In the shot, Jo's hair was wet, and Jacqueline's face was bloodied to mark Lauren's fall. Jo's caption alarmed fans, with one writing: "Bet that hurt," while another asked: "Is that real," referring to Jacqueline's face injuries. Others wondered whether Lauren had survived the fall following Boxing Day's cliffhanger episode. "Is that a clue that Lauren's still alive," one questioned. Luckily, it seems that fans have nothing to worry about, and that Jacqueline didn’t really fall off the roof during the stunts. In an earlier post, Jo shared a photograph of the pair with Lorna Fizgerald, who plays Abi. The photo was taken the day before filming, captioning it this time: "That day before you fell off that roof! @jacjossa."
Jo came back especially to film Lauren and Abi's departure
It was revealed that both Jacqueline and Lorna did their own stunts, and were filming at 2.00am with a wind and rain machine in order to film the dramatic scenes. Speaking at a press day last week attended by HELLO! Online, Jacqueline spoke about just how "terrifying" it was to film the stunts. She said: "Lorna was not scared at all – I was terrified. But in fairness she could see where she was falling and I was falling backwards." Jake Wood, who plays their on-screen dad Max Branning, added that he wouldn’t have been able to do the stunts: "I wouldn’t have done it, they were very brave. The platform was very high."
In September in was confirmed 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."