EastEnders: Tanya’s Top 10 Greatest Moments

As Jo Joyner bows out of the BBC1 soap, David Brown looks back at Tanya's knack for bust-ups, burials and getting banged up

She arrived in 2006 looking for a fresh start with husband Max and she leaves in 2013 to take her alcoholic daughter Lauren to rehab. Which just goes to show what life in Walford can do to a woman. And, of course, the last seven years have been chock fall of angst for Tanya – think Christmases ruined, husbands buried alive, plus a spell in prison…No wonder she wants to leave town! So to mark Tanya’s exit, here’s a brief rundown of her most dramatic highlights (most of which involve her looking completely traumatised):


1) Tanya arrives (2006)

So here she is, fresh faced in her first appearance. Pretty soon though, Max is confessing to an affair with Gemma Clewes, but Tan forgives him. To make it up to her, Max buys 10 Turpin Road for his missus, which she then turns into the Booty beauty salon.

2) Oscar is born (2007)

In December, Max is on hand to deliver Oscar after the midwife gives him advice over the phone. Little does Tanya realise, however, that Max has started an affair with Stacey Slater, who is Max’s son Bradley’s wife. We’re gearing up for a Christmas to remember…


3) Max and Stacey DVD reveal (2007)

And so we come to what has to be the Branning family’s best-remembered moment so far: the Christmas Day cliffhanger that saw Max and Stacey’s affair revealed to the clan. If only Dot had had her way and been able to watch the Queen’s speech.

4) Burying Max alive (2008)

Tanya took her revenge over Easter 2008 when, with the help of Sean Slater, she drugged and then buried Max in a coffin in the woods. The scene prompted 167 viewers to complain and while the BBC stopped short of a full apology, it did say sorry to those who “did not enjoy” the storyline.

5) The affair with Jack (2008)

Max did, of course, live to fight another day after Tanya’s guilty conscience got the better of her and she dug him up. But he wasn’t best pleased about what Tanya did next – ie. have an affair with his brother Jack.


6) Going to prison (2008)

After taking the rap for Lauren, who had tried to kill Max by running him down, Tan was sent down. Luckily, she only had to serve a couple of months and was released in January 2009 when the real story behind the hit-and-run emerged.


7) Learning she could have cancer (2011)

Tan is about to come clean to Greg that she wants to be with Max when she is told some distressing news at the surgery by Yusef. He advises her to open a letter that she’s received from the health service – a document that reveals that has abnormal smear test results. 


8) Getting the all-clear (2012)

Thankfully, there was better news the following year when a tearful Tanya receives the news that she’s free of the cancer that she’s been battling for the past year.


9) The one where Max’s wife shows up on Tanya’s wedding day (2012)

Another Christmas Day ruined as Tanya prepares to get remarried to Max – only for Kirsty Branning to show up and stake her claim to Tan’s man. 


10) And finally…Tanya wakes up next to Phil Mitchell (2013)

Surely the headline says it all, really…