EASTENDERS has had a Branning on the Square for decades – but things really kicked off when Max and his crew rolled into town.
The bald-headed loverman (who actually wasn’t quite so bald back then) brought along daughters Lauren and Abi with son Bradley joining soon after.
The Branning family were at the heart of the drama every Christmas[/caption]
Almost no plot was complete without one of them getting stuck into some drama, or in Bradley’s case, falling off a roof.
And come Christmas there was always a Branning at the heart of the drama – ususally cheat-a-holic Max, let’s face it.
Here we take a look at what the successful bunch of stars have been up to since they dominated Albert Square…
Jake Wood (Max)
Jake Wood was more like Jake Wood after growing a huge beard after EastEnders[/caption]
After Jake Wood bowed out of the soap after his character either ran of of plots of people to sleep with, he left in 2019.
Suddenly free to change his appearance and do what he wanted for practically the first time in 15 years he grew an enormous bushy beard.
He also embraced his love of boxing by stepping up his acclaimed Pound for Pound podcast where he interviews many of his heroes.
The star also got to spend more time with his wife Alison who, in a very un-Max like revelation, he’s been happily married to for more than 20 years.
And starting this month Jake is appearing alongside Lily Allen in the stage play 2:22 A Ghost Story in London’s West End.
Charlie Clements (Bradley)
Bradley Branning star Charlie Clements worked as a chef during lockdown[/caption]
With his love of an old-man golf sweater and as one of very few characters not to work in Walford (he disappeared, quite rarely it must be said, to toil in the City) Bradley was always a bit different.
A fan favourite, Bradley was rewarded with an explosive exit in 2010, when he smashed evil Archie Mitchell in the face.
He then fell off the roof of the Vic being chased by the cops and tumbled to his death – while Charlie picked up a string of stage roles.
During lockdown, the hard-grafting star, 34, took work as a chef before hanging up his apron and working in a garden centre.
Charlie, who is married with children, explained: “It was just a way of me supporting the family. At the end of the day the kids and the family come first. I’ve never been afraid of work.”
He later joined the cast of long-running whodunit The Mousetrap in London’s West End.
Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren)
Jac Jossa spent eight years on Albert Square as Max’s daughter Lauren before producers chopped her and screen sister Abi.
She quickly used the soap as a springboard to reality TV, stepping out of the Branning shadow and marrying Towie’s Dan Osbourne just before her exit.
She went on win I’m A Celebrity in 2019 but never forgot her EastEnders roots – building a miniature Queen Vic in her garden.
The jungle proved to be her path to even greater fame and riches, with big-money endorsement deals to add to her £75,000 fee for doing the show.
The mum-of-two, 28, bagged a six-figure deal with them to release her own In The Style range with the brand taking her on shoots all over the world.
Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi)
Since she left Albert Square and Abi behind, Lorna has been a theatre star[/caption]
Still only 25 now, Lorna was the youngest Branning daughter but had the family’s manipulative streak, once faking a pregnancy to fool Ben Mitchell.
Like Jac she was chopped in 2018 and left the show by falling off a roof, giving birth and being declared braindead.
Free from soap schedules for the first time in 12 years, she threw herself into stage work and starred in Hitchcock adaptation The Lady Vanishes.
She is about to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe in Till Love Do Us Part as one half of a young couple trying to start a family.
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