BBC EastEnders’ Lauren Branning’s return to Walford with cousin Penny revealed

EastEnders have revealed more about Lauren Branning and cousin Penny Branning's highly anticipated return storyline.

Lauren, played by I’m a Celeb star and actress Jacqueline Jossa, will be making a permanent comeback to the show after walking away from Walford in 2018, before making some appearances in 2022 and earlier this year.

Lauren will be returning with her and Peter Beale's son Louie, as well as her cousin Penny.

Penny, who is Jack Branning's daughter, will be played by actress Kitty Castledine, who has landed her first major television role after graduating from the London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA) this summer.

In the past, Penny was portrayed by Mia McKenna-Bruce. It’s been 15 years since the character last appeared on the show in 2008, with Eastenders writers now revealing more about why they are bringing her back.

New spoilers confirm Lauren and Penny will make their entrance on Albert Square on New Year.

The soap also revealed that the pair were in Paris, appearing to show that they were at a party. However, it seems that something occurs during the French get-together that leads to them having to go back to Walford.

The spoiler line reads: "In Paris, Lauren and Penny make a decision that they have to return to Walford due to the events of the evening."

And it comes as the Mirror reported how Penny's dad and Lauren's uncle Jack could possibly be killed off this Christmas.

A further show tease reveals that Penny struggles to cope with recent events in Albert Square, and she comes to a big decision.

Announcing her comeback last month, Jacqueline declared: "I’m really excited. It’s such an amazing time to be back as there is so much buzz around EastEnders at the moment.

"I’ve been watching and loving it like a fan. Walford holds a special place in my heart, so it really does feel like coming home."

Penny makes her return to Walford after living abroad for the last year with her mum Selina.

Speaking about joining the BBC soap, actress Kitty said: “I didn’t expect to start my EastEnders journey so soon out of drama school – I can’t actually believe it!

"My whole family are EastEnders fans, and I remember sitting on my Nanny Kay’s lap to tune in, and now they get to watch me in Albert Square.

"The inclusion of disabled talent on screen is so important to me as a wheelchair user, so I’m thrilled to be playing a character as feisty and cool as Penny.

"She’s thrown into the middle of the drama straight away, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to.”

EastEnders Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw added: “It’s been a long time since Penny Branning was in Walford, and she’s a very different person from the one our viewers might remember.

"Kitty is a terrific addition to the show, and we’re looking forward to seeing Penny back in Albert Square.”

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