Jacqueline Jossa 'shuts down' rumours of EastEnders return

The soap star recently made a brief return to Albert Square as Lauren Branning for Dot Cotton's funeral.

Jacqueline Jossa attends the ITV Palooza 2022 on November 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)
Jacqueline Jossa wants to shut down rumours she is returning to EastEnders. (Getty Images)

Jacqueline Jossa has spoken out to "shut down" rumours she is set to return to EastEnders.

The 30-year-old actor and reality star recently reprised her role as Lauren Branning in the BBC soap for a special episode marking Dot Cotton's funeral, sparking speculation she was coming back to Albert Square full time.

Jossa said in a statement on Instagram: "Just been inundated with people being lovely, but thinking I'm coming back to EastEnders full time, I don't know if something has been taken out of an interview or been completely made up but either way I'm just shutting down any rumours or stories.

Read more: Adam Woodyatt makes EastEnders comeback as Ian Beale for Dot Cotton's funeral

"I am not on the way back to the Square full time, it's not in talks, I 100 per cent have not confirmed a return."

EastEnders, Amy Mitchell (ELLIE DADD);Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN);Lauren Branning (JACQUELINE JOSSA);Sonia Fowler (NATALIE CASSIDY),***EMBARGOED TILL SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Jacqueline Jossa, rear centre, as Laurem Branning in scenes from Dot Cotton's funeral. (BBC)

She added: "That's also not me saying I would never go back, when and if the time is right, I would love to."

Jossa took over the role of Lauren Branning, eldest daughter of Max and Tanya, in 2010 when she was just 18. She left the soap in 2018 when her character was axed and went on to win I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! a year later.

She went on: "Like I have said many times and continue to say, EastEnders is the best job ever and was an honour for the eight years.

Watch: Coming up on EastEnders...

"As of right now, I am not going back at the moment thanks so much for all the excited DM's and phone calls and texts.. sorry lol."

The Sun reported at the end of December that Jossa had told EastEnders bosses she was open to returning to the soap.

In tribute to June Brown – who died last year aged 95 – the soap paid tribute to her character Dot Cotton in a special episode for her funeral which saw several former co-stars return.

Jacqueline Jossa won I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2019.
Jacqueline Jossa won I'm A Celebrity in 2019, a year after leaving EastEnders. (ITV)

Jossa joined Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) in returning for the funeral episode, along with past EastEnders stars Lord Michael Cashman CBE (Colin Russell), Gary Hailes (Barry Clark), Tom Watt (George ‘Lofty’ Holloway), Linda Davidson (Mary ‘the punk’ Smith) and Jan Graveson (Disa O’Brien).

Read more: Jacqueline Jossa was at her 'lowest' point before I'm A Celebrity

Jossa is married to The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne and they have two daughters together.