EastEnders actresses promises 'BIG' Christmas for Lauren and Abi

Back in September, EastEnders viewers were shocked by the news popular characters Lauren Branning and her younger sister Abi are being axed from the BBC soap as part of a cast shake-up.

Both Lorna Fitzgerald, who has played Abi since the Branning family were first introduced in 2006, and Jacqueline Jossa, who took over the role of Lauren in 2010, have now filmed their final scenes together. With the Branning family at the centre of this year’s Christmas episodes of EastEnders, rumour has it Lauren and Abi will depart Albert Square during the festive season. But Beeb bosses are keeping the details of the Branning sisters’ exit top secret!

“As soon as we found out our characters were being written-out we just wanted to know how” said Jacqueline. “When we heard what was going to happen we were like, ‘What?! This is BIG!’ But if you are going to leave EastEnders you want to leave big. Go hard or go home!”

EastEnders spoilers - Max Branning Christmas

Onscreen, Lauren’s former boss and love interest Josh Hemmings has just asked her to leave Walford and move to Glasgow with him. Meanwhile, Abi is pregnant with her dead lover Steven Beale’s baby and looking forward to becoming a mum. So although the sisters have turned their back on their terrible dad Max [check out our chat with Jake Wood, who plays Max], who has been part of a secret plan to bulldoze and redevelop Albert Square, it sounds like the characters might get a happy ending?

“We can’t say what happens in the Christmas episodes but expect drama, tears, rain, fights, screaming and shouting!” teased Jacqueline. “There’s so much going on. I don’t think the show has done Christmas episodes quite like this before. There are so many twists and turns.”

* Don’t miss a one-hour episode of EastEnders on Christmas Day, BBC 1 at 9:00pm