EastEnders SPOILER: Lauren Branning confronts Linda Carter over her affair with missing dad Max

EastEnders SPOILER: Lauren Branning confronts Linda Carter over her affair with missing dad Max – as character makes a dramatic return amid Dot Cotton’s funeral

EastEnders‘ Lauren Branning is set to confront Linda Carter over her affair with dad Max as her return storyline is revealed.

The feisty character, played by Jacqueline Jossa, makes a comeback to Albert Square later this month to attend her beloved grandmother Dot Cotton’s funeral.

By while she reunites with her loved ones as they share their grief over the launderette worker’s death, Lauren finds the time to deliver a few home truths to Linda (Kellie Bright) over ‘breaking Max’s heart’.

Showdown: EastEnders' Lauren Branning is set to confront Linda Carter over her affair with dad Max as her return storyline is revealed

Showdown: EastEnders’ Lauren Branning is set to confront Linda Carter over her affair with dad Max as her return storyline is revealed

Max (Jake Wood) and Linda embarked on a steamy affair in 2020 before Max later left the square the following year after being rejected by the barmaid.

But after disappearing from Walford, little did he know that Linda was pregnant with his baby – with the majority of the Brannings – including Lauren –  still unaware that little Annie is Max’s child. 

With Lauren back on the scene, Linda is understandably on edge over Lauren potentially learning her bombshell baby news.

So will she be able to keep her cool when she comes face-to-face with Lauren in the Vic on the day of Dot’s funeral?

Words: While she reunites with her loved ones as they share their grief over Dot's death, Lauren finds the time to deliver a few home truths to Linda (Kellie Bright) over 'breaking Max's heart'

Words: While she reunites with her loved ones as they share their grief over Dot’s death, Lauren finds the time to deliver a few home truths to Linda (Kellie Bright) over ‘breaking Max’s heart’

And with Lauren seemingly knowing plenty about Max’s heartbreak, does this mean she knows where he is after he disappeared with granddaughter Abi following a visit from Jack in France? 

Lauren’s comeback to Albert Square comes after she left for a new life in New Zealand with son Louie in 2018, following the death of her sister Abi (Lorna Fitzgerald).

Speaking on her character’s return, actress Jacqueline said: ‘She’s still the same old Lauren, but maybe grown up a little bit! I think she’ll be able to provide some updates about other members of the Branning family!

Emotional: The feisty character, played by Jacqueline Jossa, makes a comeback to Albert Square later this month to attend her beloved grandmother Dot Cotton's funeral

Emotional: The feisty character, played by Jacqueline Jossa, makes a comeback to Albert Square later this month to attend her beloved grandmother Dot Cotton’s funeral

Sad times: Lauren is seen comforting loved ones including Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) as they struggle to come to terms with Dot's death

Sad times: Lauren is seen comforting loved ones including Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) as they struggle to come to terms with Dot’s death

Back again: She bid farewell to the soap four years ago (pictured in 2015)

Blast from the past: Jacqueline played Lauren Branning on the soap from 2010 to 2018 (pictured in 2015)

‘Hopefully, Lauren coming home is something positive and light. Obviously, Lauren is upset to lose Grandma Dot, but it’s a bittersweet feeling to be back.’

It’s set to be an emotional time in Albert Square as the residents of Walford join together to say goodbye to Dot Cotton at her funeral.

It was previously revealed that soap bosses were working on a tribute for EastEnders legend June Brown, who died in April of this year at the age of 95. 

And now sad images of the character’s funeral have been revealed as cast old and new gather for the final send-off for the much-loved launderette worker. 

In preview images, an emotional Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) is seen supported by returning character Colin Russell (Lord Michael Cashman CBE) as they walk behind the hearse ahead of the iconic character being laid to rest. 

Farewell: It was previously revealed that soap bosses were working on a tribute for EastEnders legend June Brown , who died in April of this year at the age of 95

Farewell: It was previously revealed that soap bosses were working on a tribute for EastEnders legend June Brown , who died in April of this year at the age of 95

So sad: EastEnders preview images sees the emotional moment the residents of Walford join together to say goodbye to the iconic character

So sad: EastEnders preview images sees the emotional moment the residents of Walford join together to say goodbye to the iconic character

As well as Sharon and Colin, other characters seen in snaps include James Farrar as Zack Hudson, Frankie Day as Ricky Mitchell and Diane Parish as Denise Fox.

While other characters including Kim Fox (Tameka Empson), Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner) and Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) are also in attendance. 

Moving images also see a host of characters line the streets as the black horse-drawn funeral carriage makes its way past the pub, through the market and around Albert Square. 

In October, veterans turned out in force for Dot’s funeral, with a slew of former cast members seen filming the emotional scenes. 

Sad: An emotional Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) is seen supported by returning character Colin Russell (Lord Michael Cashman CBE) at Dot Cotton's funeral in new EastEnders images

Sad: An emotional Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) is seen supported by returning character Colin Russell (Lord Michael Cashman CBE) at Dot Cotton’s funeral in new EastEnders images

The huge turnout was led by Jacqueline who was seen on set for the first time as she reprised her role of Lauren Branning, along with returning characters ‘Lofty’ Holloway (Tom Watt), Colin, Barry Clark (Gary Hailes), Mary ‘the punk’ Smith (Linda Davidson) and Disa O’Brien (Jan Graveson).

The actress, 29, was also joined by veteran EastEnders stars, Letitia and Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, as much of the soap’s cast were in attendance for Dot’s final farewell.

The beloved character of Dot left the show in January 2020 to go to Ireland with her grandson Charlie.

Goodbye: Sad images of the character's funeral have been revealed as cast old and new gather for the final send-off for the much-loved launderette worker.

Goodbye: Sad images of the character’s funeral have been revealed as cast old and new gather for the final send-off for the much-loved launderette worker.

Final send-off: Moving images also see a host of characters line the streets as the black horse-drawn funeral carriage makes its way past the pub, through the market and around Albert Square

Final send-off: Moving images also see a host of characters line the streets as the black horse-drawn funeral carriage makes its way past the pub, through the market and around Albert Square

She portrayed the role of Dot for 35 years, and was part of the Branning clan after marrying character Jim Branning in 2002. 

Speaking on why it was important to have significant people from Dot’s past return, show, Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw said in a statement: ‘It’s an honour to invite so many of Walford’s beloved characters back to pay tribute to Dot. 

‘Over the years, Dot profoundly impacted the lives of many young people struggling with life’s biggest challenges. Her warmth, heart and compassion changed lives – so we wanted to reunite some of the people she helped the most. 

‘I’m thrilled these talented and generous actors wanted to share this special experience with us so we can give Dot a fitting send-off.’ 

As six EastEnders star return for Dot Cotton’s funeral – a look at their careers since leaving the soap

EastEnders have announced that six of its most iconic characters will be returning to the soap for a special episode which sees the residents of Walford attend Dot Cotton’s funeral.

Bosses revealed that Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa), George ‘Lofty’ Holloway (Tom Watt), Colin Russell (Lord Michael Cashman CBE), Barry Clark (Gary Hailes) , Mary ‘the punk’ Smith (Linda Davidson) and Disa O’Brien (Jan Graveson) will reprise their roles for the upcoming episodes.

But since leaving the soap, these stars have taken their careers in vastly different directions, ranging from stints on reality TV, to ghost-writing famous biographies, to entering politics as a member of the House Of Lords.

So, as EastEnders fans prepare to welcome back these iconic stars to Albert Square for Dot’s final farewell, MailOnline takes a look at how their careers have fared since leaving the soap.

Blast from the past: EastEnders have announced that six of its most iconic characters will be returning to the soap to attend Dot Cotton's funeral - here MailOnline takes a look at their careers since leaving Walford behind

Blast from the past: EastEnders have announced that six of its most iconic characters will be returning to the soap to attend Dot Cotton’s funeral – here MailOnline takes a look at their careers since leaving Walford behind

Throwback: Jacqueline Jossa played Lauren Branning on EastEnders from 2010 to 2018, before leaving the soap to explore other acting roles

Throwback: Jacqueline Jossa played Lauren Branning on EastEnders from 2010 to 2018, before leaving the soap to explore other acting roles 

Jacqueline Jossa (played Lauren Branning from 2010 to 2018)

Jacqueline originally joined the EastEnders cast to take over the role of teen Lauren, and throughout her eight-year stint featured in a slew of hard-hitting storylines, including her mum Tanya’s breast cancer diagnosis, and her own alcoholism.

However, Lauren decided to leave Albert Square in 2018 to start a new life in New Zealand with her son Louie, after her sister Abi was killed following a fall from the roof of the Queen Vic.

After leaving EastEnders, Jacqueline went onto appear on the 2019 series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and was eventually crowned champion.

She's the winner! After leaving EastEnders, Jacqueline went onto appear on the 2019 series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and was eventually crowned champion

She’s the winner! After leaving EastEnders, Jacqueline went onto appear on the 2019 series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and was eventually crowned champion

Glam: Since then Jacqueline has landed several big-money brand deals, including a range with InTheStyle, and has recently made a name for herself as a social media influencer

Glam: Since then Jacqueline has landed several big-money brand deals, including a range with InTheStyle, and has recently made a name for herself as a social media influencer

Since then Jacqueline has landed several big-money brand deals, including a range with InTheStyle, and has recently made a name for herself as a social media influencer.

Jacqueline is also married to TOWIE star Dan Osborne, and the couple share two daughters, Ella, seven, and Mia, three, but their relationship hasn’t been short of drama, with the couple previously reported to have split in 2018 when it was claimed Dan cheated with Love Island star Gabby Allen.

However both stars denied the claims, and a then-pregnant Jacqueline eventually reconciled with Dan. 

Throwback: Tom was one of 26 actors to appear in EastEnders' original cast, earning his nickname Lofty due to his above-average height, but he left Albert Square three years later

Throwback: Tom was one of 26 actors to appear in EastEnders’ original cast, earning his nickname Lofty due to his above-average height, but he left Albert Square three years later

Tom Watt (played George ‘Lofty’ Holloway from 1985 to 1988, and made a guest appearance in 2019)

Tom was one of 26 actors to appear in EastEnders’ original cast, earning his nickname Lofty due to his above-average height, but he left Albert Square three years later after learning his wife Michelel Fowler had secretly aborted their unborn baby.

Since then, Tom has regularly presented sports sports segments for Channel 4, Radio 1, Radio 3, Radio 5 Live, talkSPORT, and Cable TV, and has also fronted several programmes for BT Sport.

Alongside several other TV acting roles, Tom has penned match reports and features for The Observer and also acted as a ghost writer for David Beckham’s autobiography My Side.

In 2019 Tom also briefly reprised his role as Lofty, returning to Albert Square for the funeral of beloved character Dr Legg.

Vintage: Since then, Tom (pictured in 2019) has presented sports radio segments, and even ghost-wrote David Beckham's autobiography My Side

Vintage: Since then, Tom (pictured in 2019) has presented sports radio segments, and even ghost-wrote David Beckham’s autobiography My Side

He's back! In 2019 Tom also briefly reprised his role as Lofty, returning to Albert Square for the funeral of beloved character Dr Legg

He’s back! In 2019 Tom also briefly reprised his role as Lofty, returning to Albert Square for the funeral of beloved character Dr Legg

Iconic: Michael Cashman made history when he played 'yuppie' Colin in EastEnders, as he became Walford's first ever gay resident, sharing the first mouth-to-mouth kiss between two men to appear in a British soap opera

Iconic: Michael Cashman made history when he played ‘yuppie’ Colin in EastEnders, as he became Walford’s first ever gay resident, sharing the first mouth-to-mouth kiss between two men to appear in a British soap opera

Lord Michael Cashman CBE (played Colin Russell from 1986 to 1989, and made a guest appearance in 2016)

Michael made history when he played ‘yuppie’ Colin in EastEnders, as he became Walford’s first ever gay resident, sharing the first mouth-to-mouth kiss between two men to appear in a British soap opera.

He famously had a close friendship with Dot, despite her intial opposition to his homosexuality as it conflicted with her strict religious views.

Since leaving Walford, Michael has pursued a career in politics and was elected a Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands in 1999.

He was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for public and political service, and in 2014 Michael was created a life peer, earning him a place in the House Of Lords.

In 2016 Lord Michael also made a brief return to EastEnders to reprise his role as Colin, heading back to the Square to try and convince Dot to attend his wedding, as she grew reluctant due to her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Respected; Since leaving Walford, Michael has pursued a career in politics, and along with being elected an MEP, was appointed a life peer in 2014

Respected; Since leaving Walford, Michael has pursued a career in politics, and along with being elected an MEP, was appointed a life peer in 2014

Gary Hailes (played Barry Clark from 1986 to 1989)

Gary was the other side of EastEnders’ first ever gay couple, as his character Barry began a relationship with Colin, but given his family’s thuggish reputation, he kept his sexuality a secret.

When his sexuality is finally revealed, Barry is forced to break up with Colin, and he attempts to have a relationship with a woman, with little success, and he eventually decides to leave Walford to accept a job as a DJ on a cruise ship.

Since leaving EastEnders, Gary has appeared in films such as The Killing Zone, Murder with Mirrors and Waiting for a Killer, and has also starred in dramas The Bill, Horizon and Sorry.

Gary has also owned, and drives, a London black taxi, and through his work with the Star Wars costuming group, 501st Legion, made a cameo as a Stormtrooper in the 2015 film The Force Awakens.

Love is in the air! Gary was the other side of EastEnders' first ever gay couple, as his character Barry began a relationship with Colin, but given his family's thuggish reputation, he kept his sexuality a secret

Love is in the air! Gary was the other side of EastEnders’ first ever gay couple, as his character Barry began a relationship with Colin, but given his family’s thuggish reputation, he kept his sexuality a secret

Wow! Linda Davidson played the wild child punk Mary Smith as part of EastEnders' original cast, a former punk rock groupie and drug user whose wild lifestyle put her baby's life at risk

Wow! Linda Davidson played the wild child punk Mary Smith as part of EastEnders’ original cast, a former punk rock groupie and drug user whose wild lifestyle put her baby’s life at risk

Linda Davidson (played Mary ‘the punk’ Smith from 1985 to 1988)

Mary was one of the Square’s most controversial characters — a former punk rock groupie and drug user whose wild lifestyle put her baby’s life at risk.

Barely literate, she couldn’t look after her child without her neighbours’ help, and earned her living by prostitution, eventually fleeing Walford after growing tired of her family’s interference.

Linda, who was born in Canada, dated co-star Nejdet Salih and left the show in 1988; she gave up acting to work in internet design and now runs a social media agency.

New direction: Linda, who was born in Canada, dated co-star Nejdet Salih and left the show in 1988; she gave up acting to work in internet design and now runs a social media agency

New direction: Linda, who was born in Canada, dated co-star Nejdet Salih and left the show in 1988; she gave up acting to work in internet design and now runs a social media agency

Jan Graveson (played Disa O’Brien from 1990 to 1991)

Appearing in just 25 episodes, Jan made her first appearance on EastEnders as a teen sleeping rough on the streets of London, eventually giving birth to a baby girl along in an alley after being unaware that she was pregnant.

Disa formed a bond with Dot who was happy to look after her baby daughter, and after finally revealing that she was assualted by Ken Raynor, leading to her pregnancy, she left Walford to start a new life further North.

After leaving the soap, Jan had roles in series including Byker Grove, Casualty and Heartbeat and famously played Susie in the ITV sitcom Benidorm.

Troubles: Appearing in just 25 episodes, Jan made her first appearance on EastEnders as teen Disa, sleeping rough on the streets of London, who eventually gave birth to a baby girl

Troubles: Appearing in just 25 episodes, Jan made her first appearance on EastEnders as teen Disa, sleeping rough on the streets of London, who eventually gave birth to a baby girl

Stage star: After leaving the soap, Jan had roles in various TV series, along with several stage roles including the musical Blood Brothers

Stage star: After leaving the soap, Jan had roles in various TV series, along with several stage roles including the musical Blood Brothers

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