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Madeline Duggan as Lauren Branning (From 2006 - 2010)


SummaryEdit

Intelligent, clever and a deep romantic, Lauren has it all. Like her mum, she is a quick judge of character but can also be sardonic, cynical and dry, just like her dad.

Lauren is very quick on the uptake and picks up on everything going on around her but knows it doesn't pay to have loose lips. She's learnt the hard way that secrets destroy people. And this has made her vulnerable.


Lauren's Life on the SquareEdit

Lauren is the result of an affair between Max Branning and Tanya Cross. Max left his wife Rachel (Sukie Smith/Pooky Quesnel) and young son Bradley (Charlie Clements) to marry Tanya and be a father to Lauren. Lauren moves to Walford with her parents and sister Abi. She makes friends with Lucy Beale and begins dating Lucy's twin brother Peter. Lauren hides her video camera in her parents' bedroom on the day of Bradley and Stacey's wedding, catching Max and Stacey kissing on film. Lauren burns the footage to DVD and plans to give it to Bradley for Christmas as revenge for her father's infidelity. She later changes her mind and throws the DVD away, but Tanya finds it and, thinking it had fallen into Lauren's waste paper bin by accident, puts it under the Christmas tree. On Christmas Day, the family watch the DVD and Max and Stacey's affair is revealed. In the aftermath of the revelation, Max and Tanya split up and Tanya files for divorce, leaving the Branning family in ruins.

Lauren grows jealous of Peter performing love scenes with Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) for a play being performed at the community centre. She goes to talk to Whitney about the situation, but instead meets Whitney's stepfather Tony King (Chris Coghill), a paedophile who is having a secret love affair with 15-year-old Whitney. Tony is instantly attracted to Lauren and starts grooming her after she separates from Peter, who dumps Lauren after Max orders him to. When Lauren discovers what Max has done, she is furious; she rejects her father after he attempts to throttle Peter, who has been trying to defend her from Max's outburst. Shortly after, Max is run down in a planned hit and run and left battling for his life in hospital. Tanya subsequently confesses and is arrested. When Max grounds Lauren for planning to attend a music concert with Tony, she asks her uncle Jack (Scott Maslen) if she can move in with him, telling her father she wishes he had died. It is later revealed that it was Lauren, not Tanya, who had tried to kill Max.

Lauren decides to move in with Lucy and her family when she thinks Jack might not be able to cope with her. Lucy's father Ian (Adam Woodyatt) explains that she should live with her father. Tony's abuse of Whitney is eventually revealed, and Lauren realises that she was Tony's next target. She tells Ian's wife Jane (Laurie Brett) about this and she advises her to talk to the police, which she does. In court, Tanya pleads guilty to attempted murder; this upsets Lauren who is has to be taken out of the court room. Lauren tells Max it was her that tried to kill him. Lauren later hands herself into to the police to ensure her mother's freedom, against Max's wishes. She is charged with attempted murder and is taken into care by Social Services. Tanya is released and is furious to discover Lauren is in care, spending days trying to track her down, eventually getting her new mobile number from Peter. Tanya visits Lauren at her foster home and tries to persuade her to come home but she cannot leave. Lauren's trial takes place, and although she is found not guilty of attempted murder, she is guilty of GBH with intent. She is sentenced to two years under supervision, meaning she will not go to prison.

Peter avoids Lauren as he is afraid Max will hurt him again, but Max gives Peter his blessing to see Lauren and Peter tells her he loves her. Lauren tells Tanya she is terrified that Tanya and Max will get back together, and they eventually do, with Max moving back in. Lauren finds an earring in Max's car and gives it to Tanya, assuming he was seeing another woman. Whitney hears Lauren and Peter talking about the earring, and tells them she lost it when she and her half-brother Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott) took the car for a joyride. Lauren feels embarrassed because she realises that Whitney just overheard her describing her earring as "chavvy". Lauren tells Tanya it is her earring, a present from Peter. Whitney and Lauren become friends and get drunk in Janine Butcher's (Charlie Brooks) flat. Peter tells Jay and his other friends that he and Lauren had a sexual experience at the allotments, resulting in Lauren being teased by her schoolmates. She finds out Peter started the rumour and dumps him. She then agrees to see him and they get back together. Peter tells her they will wait until she is ready to get into a sexual relationship, but Lauren tells him she is ready now. Despite this, she decides to wait, but Max gets mad when he finds out what they planned, and bans Peter from seeing her. Max is enraged when he catches them in a secret meeting, but Peter confesses his love for Lauren and Max finally accepts it.

When Max's debts are revealed and bailiffs start taking the family's possessions, Tanya leaves Max but Abi refuses to go with her, saying they need to stick together. Tanya leaves with Lauren and Oscar, but Abi stays with Max. Lauren briefly returns at Christmas when Tanya comes back for Abi on Max's request. Lauren returns to speak to Peter about their relationship, and decides to end it as she cannot give him 100% since moving away. Lucy tells her Peter is worth keeping, but when Lauren goes to a party to find Peter, she sees him kissing Zsa Zsa Carter (Emer Kenny). Lauren slaps Peter for calling her an iceberg, and then Zsa Zsa who laughs at her. Zsa Zsa and Lauren then fight and Whitney intervenes, but she becomes involved in the fight herself. Lauren then talks to Lucy, saying she must have been wrong about how kind Peter is. Bradley dies after being accused of killing Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb) and Lauren attends his funeral, and also celebrates her 16th birthday, when her uncle Jack is shot. She attends a party, which makes Lucy feel sidelined because she is not invited. Lauren later tells Lucy that she has changed and she is not sure that they should be friends any more. Lauren attends Abi's birthday dinner, and after returning to Max's house smelling of alcohol, Lauren tells her father she will be spending the summer at a summer camp in the United States. Max then takes her and Abi home to Tanya's.

A few months later, Lauren returns to Max's from America earlier than expected. Tanya arrives and explains that Lauren has been expelled from school for taking drugs. She then goes on webcam to her American boyfriend Edward Brooks (Luke Striffler) and asks him to sort out his plane tickets. Lauren insists to Max that she only smoked cannabis once and promises she will not do it again. Abi returns home from school to meet Lauren, and reveals that she has a crush on Darren Miller (Charlie G. Hawkins), but Lauren tries to put her off him as he is older and in a relationship. She then speaks to Edward again on webcam, but he says now she is in England, he wants to end their relationship. At Billie Jackson's (Devon Anderson) birthday party, Peter offers to get Lauren a drink but she is not interested. She brings vodka, which Billie drinks in one go. The next day, Lauren vists Carol along with Max, Tanya and Abi after hearing of Billie's death. She laughs, and says that she forgot what her and Billie drank the previous night. Carol, enraged at Lauren's laughing, grabs her and pulls her, forcing her to look at Billie's corpse and try and continue laughing. Lauren leaves with her family and is later seen hugging Abi.

Lauren starts drinking and realises she was the last person to see Billie alive. Carol later attacks Lauren, saying she killed him by egging him on to get more and more drunk. After Billie's funeral, Lauren is angry at Max for refusing to speak about Bradley, and also says everyone should be celebrating because Billie was fun-loving, rather than being quiet. Max orders Lauren to apologise and in their argument, he says Bradley was a decent man, but Lauren says he was a murderer. Max then tells her Bradley did not kill Archie. Lauren asks if he knows who did kill him. Max tells Lauren nothing but she later visits Jack and tells him what Max said. Jack says Max is just protecting her and probably cannot accept that Bradley is a killer. At a party, Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) asks Lauren out, but she says she is not interested in him as he is younger than her. He then makes sexual remarks, and Max angrily confronts him. Lauren realises Max is displaying violent behaviour and accuses him of having killed Archie. Max tells her he knows who did kill Archie and promised to protect them. Later, Lauren accuses Stacey of trying to seduce Max, but Stacey says they are just friends and Max has promised to always look after her. Lauren then correctly concludes that Stacey killed Archie and tells Max she knows. After Max denies this is true, Lauren confronts Stacey and she confesses, not realising that Lauren is taping the confession on her mobile phone. She tells Max that Stacey confessed, and when she threatens to go to the police, calling Stacey vile and twisted, Stacey explains she was raped by Archie and Lauren believes her. Max lies to Lauren that he is meeting a client, but Lauren sees him with Stacey. Lauren tells Max to get rid of Stacey or she will go to the police with the recording. Stacey leaves for a while but soon returns. Lauren is still unhappy that Stacey is around and when Stacey and Ryan announce their relationship, Max insists he will not get involved. However, Lauren sees Max and Stacey together again, so she gives Ryan's wife Janine her mobile phone containing the recording of Stacey's confession. Lauren regrets it and tells Max, who breaks into Janine's flat and wipes the recording. During a family Christmas dinner, Archie's daughter Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) visits and demands to know the truth behind Archie's murder. This makes Lauren cry and insists this is all her fault and storms upstairs to her room.

Lauren takes a liking to her friend Seb Parker (Tommy Bastow) and is jealous when Mercy Olubunmi (Bunmi Mojekwu) also shows an interest. Lauren and Whitney fall out, and Whitney goes missing. When Lauren discovers this, she helps search for her, tracking her down to Dartford where she realises Rob Grayson (Jody Latham) is sexually exploiting her for financial gain. Lauren fails to bring Whitney home, and Rob invites Lauren to go to a party with them, but she declines. Later, Rob threatens Lauren to stay away from them. When they return to Walford, Janine forces Lauren to lie to Ricky and Carol that they didn't manage to locate her while Janine makes efforts to try and locate Whitney's whereabouts. However too concerned for Whitney's welfare and anxious about the situation, Lauren finally tells Ricky and Carol the truth that Rob took Whitney away and that she could be in serious danger.

Lauren develops a crush on Ryan, but fails to seduce him by sneaking into his room. She discovers that Max and Tanya are having an affair and confronts Max, saying she will move in with Tanya and Greg, and threatens Max that she will hit him again with a car but this time will not miss. She dresses up to impress Ryan but he rejects her, and Max catches her asking Tyler Moon (Tony Discipline) to take her upstairs, and drags her home where she is grounded by Tanya. Lauren confides in her aunt Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks) about Ryan, who informs her that he is a drug dealer. Lauren talks to Ryan, who realises he is in trouble and as she comforts him, they kiss. They start a secret relationship but when Lauren finds out that Tanya and Max have continued their affair, Lauren flaunts her relationship with Ryan in front of Tanya, calling her a hypocrite. Whitney eventually finds out that Lauren and Ryan are seeing each other and tells Lauren she no longer wants to be friends. However, Ryan breaks up with Lauren for Whitney's sake, but Lauren wishes to carry on in secret. The relationship ends after Ryan kills Rob and goes on the run.

When Darren Miller (Charlie G. Hawkins) and his fiancée Jodie Gold (Kylie Babbington) almost call off their wedding, Darren cheats on Jodie with Lauren after getting drunk together. When Darren's half brother Mickey comes into town for Darren's stag do, Fatboy tells him what happened and he tells Poppy, Jodie's best friend.


RelationshipsEdit

Peter BealeEdit

Lauren and Peter started dating after French exchange student Monique set them up together.

Ryan MalloyEdit

After a bit of chasing Ryan fell for Lauren's charms, which didn't go down well with Whitney.


Key DatesEdit

(04 Jul 2006)Edit

Feeling unsettled when she moved to Walford.

(06 Jul 2006)Edit

Meeting her half-brother, Bradley.

(27 Nov 2006)Edit

Getting drunk with Lucy on Jane’s hen night.

(25 Dec 2007)Edit

Her DVD of Bradley and Stacey's wedding revealing her dad's affair.

(02 Jan 2009)Edit

Confessing to Max that it was her who ran him over.

(07 Apr 2009)Edit

Trial for the attempted murder of Max begins.

(10 Apr 2009)Edit

Found ‘not guilty’ of attempted murder, but gets a two-year supervision order for GBH with intent. Returns home.

(15 Sep 2009)Edit

Breaking up with Peter.

(18 Sep 2009)Edit

Getting back together with Peter.

(17 Dec 2009)Edit

Leaving Walford with her mum when they find out Max has been lying about his finances.

(07 Jan 2010)

Breaking up with Peter. Then finding him kissing Zsa Zsa at Lucy's party.

(05 March 2010)

Going to Bradley's funeral.

(27 Sep 2010)

Returning from the U.S summer school exchange programme.

(12 Oct 2010)

Being blamed by Carol for Billie's death after she encouraged him to down vodka the night he died.

(12 Nov 2010)

Discovering Stacey's murderous secret...

(15 Nov 2010)

Finding herself with the upper hand as Stacey confesses to murdering Archie...

(07 June 2011)

Discovers Tanya’s and Max’s affair, and attempts to put a stop to it.


Lauren Branning (Jaqueline Jossa)

Jaqueline Jossa as Lauren Branning (From 2011)

About Jacqueline JossaEdit

This is Jac's first role since coming out of the D&B Theatre School in Bromley.

Star sign: Scorpio

Eye colour: Hazel

First appearance: 27.09.2010

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