Lauren and Abi Branning to depart EastEnders, BBC confirms

The characters are being written out of the soap.

Press Association
Last updated:10 September 2017 - 02.01pm

EastEnders stars Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald are leaving the soap, the BBC has confirmed.

The duo, who play sisters Lauren and Abi Branning, have been staple characters in the BBC One show.

Fitzgerald, whose character Abi told Steven Beale she was pregnant with his baby seconds before he died on Friday’s episode, joined the soap 11 years ago.

Her sister Lauren, played by Jossa, was engaged to Beale and his death will lead to the sisters having a showdown in Monday’s instalment.

Jossa, who is married to former The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osbourne, joined the show in 2010.

A spokeswoman for the soap 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.”

Lauren and Abi Branning (Jack Barnes/BBC)

A source told the Sun on Sunday the departures were part of a shake-up by new show boss John Yorke.

It added: “He has form for creating huge plots, so they’re in safe hands over their departure.

“It will be one of the biggest on-screen moments of the year.

“Sometimes a great storyline comes at the cost of losing some character. The cast will be sorry to see them go.”

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