Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarronBBC
EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders Star Jacqueline Jossa has reflected on her years working alongside the late June Brown.
The BBC soap has planned an emotional tribute to June in next week’s episodes, after she passed away in April this year aged 95.
Jacqueline, who is known for her role as Lauren Branning, is one of many confirmed characters to reprise their roles for Dot’s funeral, after news reached Square that she had passed away in Ireland.
Related: EastEnders‘ Dot Branning to get a special ending theme in the funeral episode
Lauren will be hopping on a plane from New Zealand to pay her respects to Dot, and Jacqueline has reflected on her years working with June during a recent EastEnders press event.
Talking to Digital spy and other media, she said, “I used to be terrified of June. Just because it really was like what June says goes.
“I was young and she’d just come in and she would have changed the whole script! But it would be for the better, honestly. I never really learned my lines properly when we were doing scenes because I knew she was going to come in and change them anyway.
The director would often say, “Are you cool with that?” I’ll say, “Yeah, June said so, so we’re doing it.”
“I was a fan of EastEnders before and to come in and be part of her family – she already feels like your nan. You watch an episode and she feels like Grandma Dot – she’s part of the furniture, she feels part of the family.
“The whole of Britain will feel it when you see it. It felt like you were at a funeral. And with her family there – for them to come in and be part of it was like a dream come true.”
Jacqueline admitted she was nervous about reprising her role as Lauren after four years away, adding: “I was quite scared and it had only been four and a half years.
Related: EastEnders the boss explains Sonia Fowler’s focus in Dot Branning’s death story
“I was like, ‘I don’t remember how to act, I can’t do it’. It just felt like I was a little rusty. I wasn’t sure if people were going to see me as Lauren again, but as soon as i was in it, you’re in The Vic again, you talk about people you know and you catch up with old friends, who all feel like family. It feels like you’re right back into it.
“I want to see people like Natalie [Cassidy] and Scott Maslen and you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s Uncle Jack!’ and the people behind the camera too, it’s like, ‘Hey! You’re still here!’. There are friendly faces. You just feel like family again.
“I worked with Richard [director] years ago and he was one of my favorite directors. It really was like being back home.”
Explaining how she got back, Jacqueline said: “It was just a WhatsApp message from my agent, saying, ‘You’re not really available for these two weeks, but you’ve been asked back’.
“I said, ‘We’ve got to move everything, I’m going back – yes, yes, yes’. That was literally it.
“I’m not really sure [what she’s been up to]. She just pops in. I think she’s there to let people know that there’s still hope and a future for Brannings and that it’s not over yet.”
EastEnders airs Mondays-Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show is also streaming on BBC iPlayer.
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