As Walford’s Tanya ups sticks next week, EastEnders actress Jo Joyner tells TV Times magazine why it’s time to put her real-life brood before her fictional one…
Since arriving in 2006, you’ve had so many incredible storylines! How does it feel now that your time on EastEnders is coming to an end?
“It’s terribly sad, but Tanya knows she has to walk away for the sake of her children. She is putting her children first and that is the only thing that matters to her.”
You had twins Edie and Freddie in 2009. Are you leaving EastEnders to spend more time with them?
“We’d been renting a place that was only 15 minutes from the studio but, even then, I could go three whole days without seeing my children at all. In years to come, I wouldn’t be going: ‘Ooh, great, I’ve got lots more money in the bank,’ I would be saying: ‘Wow, where did my children go?'”
What is your next step, then?
“We’re moving back to the countryside where we lived before I joined EastEnders. It’s like medicine to me. I love extremes, so I’m happy right in the heart of the city or out in the sticks.”
Any plans for what you’re going to do?
“I’ve got loads of fun things planned before the kids start school – lots of time on the beach, maybe a trip to Thomas Land, picnics at Blenheim Palace. I’m just looking forward to being able to be spontaneous; to wake up one morning, and say: ‘Weather looks good; let’s get in the car and go to Cornwall!’”
What’s it been like working so closely with Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning?
“Jake is a wonderful actor and I have been incredibly lucky to play opposite him. When you have chemistry with someone like that, it is effortless.”
Would you ever go back to EastEnders?
“I’ve loved playing her and I would never say never to coming back. It has been an amazing seven years!”