EastEnders David Witts explains to Soaplife why Joey breaks Lauren’t heart… And how his evil dad Derek is behind the whole sorry mess.

One minute they’re love’s young dream, then comes the car crash and the chance Derek has been waiting for to teach Joey the lesson he thinks he deserves… He gives Joey a choice to keep Lauren out of prison which, David tells Soaplife, leaves Joey no choice at all. “He has to tell Lauren he lied to her about loving her,” says David. No! What a mess…

How does Joey feel when he sees Lauren lying in the wreckage of the crashed car?
“It all happens so quickly. One minute they’re driving along the road, the next, he wakes up and the car’s an absolute wreck. There’s no time to register any guilt or anything, he just goes into a state of sheer panic. He climbs out of the car and all he can think about is getting Lauren free.”

And then Derek races to their rescue…
“And, for once, Joey’s pleased to see Derek… The car explodes just after they’ve pulled Lauren out! There’s this huge fireball and it makes Joey even more aware of how much he does love Lauren because he’s just come so close to losing her.”

If Joey loves Lauren so much, why does later dump her?
“Derek urges Joey to say he was behind the wheel. He warns him that Lauren could go to prison because she’d been drinking and has a previous conviction. But there’s a catch: Joey has to move in with Derek and be a respectful and loving son – or dump Lauren. If Joey takes either of those options, Derek won’t tell the police that Lauren was driving the car.”

So he dumps Lauren?
“Joey’s love for Lauren is massive, but not quite as massive as his hatred for Derek. He decides to become the villain and lie that he never loved her. He’ll take the flack because that will make it easier for her to move on without him.”

How does Lauren react?
“She’s heartbroken – and so is Joey, but he can’t let Lauren see that or she’ll know there must be another reason why he’s doing it.”

Why doesn’t Joey just tell Lauren the truth?
“Because she’s very headstrong and she’d say that she doesn’t care about getting into trouble with the law. It would all end in tears. Everyone would find out as Lauren’s the sort of person who’d blurt everything out and it would cause even more of a mess. Joey very much thinks he’s doing the right thing.”