Jacqueline Jossa has revealed that the whole EastEnders cast will be involved in this year’s Christmas episodes and that the plotline will not focus on just one specific family.
“It’s not a Branning Christmas this year, although we are definitely in there,” the actress told RadioTimes.com. “We’re just getting the scripts through now, but it looks like everybody is going to be involved. It’s more an EastEnders Christmas – I think everyone is in the episode.”
Asked whether she thought the BBC1 soap needed reinvigorating amid press criticism and falling ratings, Jossa replied: “Yes, definitely. It does. And it’s already happening. You don’t know what’s to come but the cast does – we’re all planning this big explosion and it’s exciting. Our new producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has seen to it that change is going to happen quite quickly.”
Of her current plotline that has seen Lauren embark on an illicit relationship with fellow recovering alcoholic Jake Stone (Jamie Lomas), Jossa added: “There’s a big twist coming that you’ll get to see around Christmas time.”
Whether this surprise will cause Lauren to fall off the wagon remains to be seen, although Jossa has mixed feelings about her character hitting the bottle again. Asked if she wanted Lauren to stay away from alcohol, the 20-year-old actress was quick to reply: “No! For her sake I’d like her to stay sober but I do enjoy playing the drunk. I’ve loved doing all that because no one can tell me what Lauren’s like when she’s drunk, so I can be ridiculous and get away with it.”
One development that could send her over the edge is the exit of Joey Branning, the cousin with whom Lauren got romantically involved after he turned up in the Square. On the topic of her co-star David Witts’s departure, Jossa joked: “I’m devastated. How dare he leave me! I’m fuming! I don’t think Lauren’s going to take it very well either, do you?”
EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC1