Outgoing EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa has said she was thrilled to be given the dramatic scenes she had hoped for as she filmed some of her last moments in Walford.
During Monday’s explosive Christmas Day special, viewers saw her character Lauren Branning and sister Abi (Lorna Fitzgerald) plummet from the roof of the Queen Vic pub after trying to help father Max (Jake Wood).
The dramatic scenes, signalling a significant split for the beleaguered Branning family, come up in the lead-up to the actress’s previously announced departure from the show.
Jossa said: “I think when you’re leaving, it’s like ‘It better be Christmas’, and ‘I better be falling off the Vic’.
“That is what you want, you want it to be big, everyone speaking about it, and obviously it is, and it’s going to be, and it’s going to be one that everyone remembers.”
Recalling filming the stunts in the early hours, she continued: “It was freezing cold, it was two in the morning. Lorna was not scared at all and I was terrified – but, in fairness, she could see where she was falling, and I was falling backwards.”
The on-screen siblings said the big event marked an emotional moment for them both after spending years side by side on set.
Fitzgerald, 21, first arrived in Albert Square 11 years ago, while Jossa, 25, took over from Madeline Duggan in 2010.
After filming some of her last scenes, Jossa said: “There’s been moments when we have just a look between us … all of a sudden, the look means so much more, because we know what’s about to happen in the story and where it’s going.
“Everything is so important now. It is telling a story and it’s coming together with that story, so it is really sad.”
While the new mum said she was looking forward to spending some quality time with her daughter, Ella, Fitzgerald has fresh plans for her acting career.
She said she was “really excited” to be starting rehearsals for a Second World War themed play in January.
The pair’s hair-raising scene comes almost a year after Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell’s double death after drowning in a swimming pool in the 2017 New Year’s Day episode.