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EastEnders' Abi Branning actress is unrecognisable with new look

Lorna Fitzgerald left the BBC One soap in 2018

Hanna Fillingham

Abi Branning hasn’t been in EastEnders for over a year now, and actress Lorna Fitzgerald couldn’t look any more different from her former character. The talented 22-year-old is currently starring in the touring production of The Lady Vanishes, based on an Alfred Hitchcock film, and has transformed her appearance for the part. Lorna's trademark blonde hair has been dyed red, and the actress is now sporting stylish cat eye glasses in her most recent photos. Most recently, the star joked that her new look resembled comedian Tim Minchin, and posted their photos next to each other on Instagram. "@timminchin I think our mothers have some explaining to do... #twinning," she wrote.

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EastEnders actress Lorna Fitzgerald has changed her hair

EastEnders fans were left devastated when Abi Branning left the BBC One soap at the beginning of 2018 after her life support was turned off. Abi and her sister Lauren Branning had both fallen off the roof of the Queen Vic after climbing up their in a bid to rescue their estranged dad Max Branning, who was threatening to jump from it. While Lauren survived her injuries, Abi came out worse and died. Abi and Lauren's on-screen mum, Tanya (played by Jo Joyner), returned to Walford for the emotional storyline. The actress hadn’t been in the soap since 2013, and fans adored seeing her return – if not briefly – for the scenes.

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Lorna played Abi Branning from 2006-2018

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The decision for the Branning sisters to leave Walford was made by former executive producer John Yorke. The statement 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 had played Abi since 2006, confessed that she was looking forward to new opportunities. Talking to the Metro, the actress said: "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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