Jacqueline Jossa has said she is sad to be leaving EastEnders but has promised that the Christmas episodes will be “catastrophic”.
The Lauren Branning actress is departing alongisde Lorna Fitzgerald, who plays her on-screen sister Abi Branning, as part of a dramatic new storyline.
Lauren and Abi’s father Max Branning, played by Jake Wood, is at the centre of the drama on the show this Christmas as his long-running revenge plot finally reaches boiling point.
While little is known about how Lauren and Abi’s time in Walford will come to an end, Jossa hinted it will be one to watch.
She told Radio Times magazine that Christmas for the Brannings this year “doesn’t disappoint”.
She added:” In fact, it’s catastrophic, the worst one yet.
“We don’t even get to sit down for dinner this year. The episodes are wicked.”
Despite being upset over her exit, Jossa, 25, said she is looking forward to making up for lost time with her two-year-old daughter Ella.
She said: “I’ll be sad but I’m leaving when everyone else goes on their Christmas break, so that helps.
“But I’m really looking forward to spending more time with Ella. I do feel I’ve missed stuff these past two years.”
Jossa, who is married to former The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne, added she would like to not remain in the spotlight, but understands that may not be the case.
“I wish, in a way, that once you’re not on the show, you could go to, say, Nando’s and not be recognised. But that’ll probably still happen,” she said.
Jossa joined the show in 2010, taking over the role of Lauren from Madeline Duggan, while Fitzgerald made her Albert Square debut in 2006.
Fitzgerald said that while she is sad to be leaving after playing the role of Abi since she was 10, she is “feeling positive” about what the future holds.
The 21-year-old actress said: “I can’t really remember a time in my life before EastEnders, so everything that comes next is going to feel new and exciting.”
She added: “If you’re going to go, it may as well be at Christmas. The build-up has been huge and what happens is very dramatic.”
The Christmas issue of Radio Times is available from Tuesday December 12.