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Jo Joyner tells Soaplife that later this week Tanya Branning leaves Walford to save Lauren’s life in EastEnders



How does Tanya feel when doctors tell her that one more drink could kill Lauren?

“She never imagined Lauren’s drink problem was so serious. She’s utterly devastated and doesn’t know how it could have got this bad without anyone around Lauren realising.”



Does she blame herself?

“She feels incredibly guilty, especially when Lauren tells Max and Tanya that she can’t stand their arguing and she’s had to put up with it since she was little. They both realise that Lauren’s problem has got worse every time there’s been a problem at home. They’ve been consumed by their own problems for so long that they didn’t see what it was doing to Lauren.”



What action does Tanya decide to take to save Lauren?

“She knows there’s only one thing she can do to stop things getting worse for all of them. She and Max have a toxic relationship and, although it’s extremely hard, Tanya decides to pack her bags and leave. She tries to keep it a secret but Abi finds out.”



Does she still love Max?

“Yes. They’ll always love each other. It’s terribly sad, but Tanya knows she has to walk away from everything for the sake of her children.”



What’s next for you, Jo?

“A long summer. I’m also working with Sky Living on a new sitcom called Trying Again about a couple struggling with life after an affair. Then I hope to be doing some theatre in the New Year.”



Do you think you’d ever come back to EastEnders?

“Who knows? I’ve loved playing Tanya, it’s been seven amazing years and I’d never say never.”