Actress Jacqueline Jossa is to take over the role of EastEnders‘ Lauren Branning when the character returns from summer camp later this year.

She will replace previous actress Maddie Duggan – who played the role from 2006 until earlier this year – as the cynical daughter of Max and Tanya.

And according to reports the character will be quick to prove she has grown up.

“Though Lauren is tough on the outside, deep down she is a sucker for love and at times can be quite vulnerable,” an EastEnders insider said.

“Lauren is one of those rare girls who go for personality over looks and wants nothing more than the right guy to sweep her off her feet. But she’ll never let you know that!”

Jacqueline, 17, said that starring in EastEnders was “a dream come true”.

I was so excited when I got the call to say I’d got the part in EastEnders,” she said. “I’ve always been a massive fan of the show.

“The characters of Lauren Branning will be really fun to play and there are some exciting things coming up.”

“Maddie Duggan did a great job of playing the young Lauren Branning, and we wish her the very best of luck for the future,” added executive producer Bryan Kirkwood. “I’m delighted to welcome Jacqueline Jossa to Albert Square.

“Jacqueline’s portrayal of Lauren has all the classic Branning qualities of toughness, cynicism and sensitivity. Jacqueline is set to be at the heart of Walford drama for some time to come.”

Other Albert Square youngsters, including Lucy Beale and Ben Mitchell, are also set to be recast with older actors.