EastEnders gave fans a surprise gift on Christmas Day, with a guest appearance from none other than Tanya Branning, who proceeded to cut through all of her ex-husband Max's bull (seriously, if she had turned up earlier then the family wouldn't be in all this mess).
It turns out though, that actress Jo Joyner had to be convinced to come back, due to her being a busy bee and also not being entirely sure how much Tanya could add in just a few episodes.
Speaking about her return, Joyner said: "Simon Ashdown called me whilst I was on holiday this summer. He was our lead writer when Jake and I first arrived at the show, he created them, their marriage and the roller coaster of a family.
"He said, 'How do you feel about coming back for Christmas, for a special?' I said I'm not sure there's anything in it for me, if I come back, I'll come back properly, I don't know that there's any point just dipping in.
"At the time I knew that I've got a lot of work ahead of me, a full 10 episodes of Shakespeare & Hathaway taking me up to Christmas and then 12 episodes of Ackley Bridge until the following summer. So I didn't think I could fit it in to be honest.> Related Article7 reasons EastEnders' Christmas was the best in years
"He then said, 'It's going to be a big Branning thing and the girls are going to be leaving,' which made me think about it. There's a funny thing about that place that makes you feel very connected and protective over your family. You genuinely feel responsible for them.
"When I thought that the girls might be leaving... I felt like I should be there for them. I've watched Lorna grow from a little 10-year-old sweetie into a beautiful and talented woman. Jacqueline has been such a pleasure to work with and I love her to bits.
"I couldn't say no to being involved in their exit stories."© BBC
Joyner stated on Twitter earlier this week that her return was just a 'visit', although we don't know about you, but we think she definitely needs to make a proper comeback to the Square.
It looks like the actress really can't fit in a full time commitment to the soap though, having also explained how difficult it was film to film the scenes we've seen already.
"It was hard as I was filming full time on Shakespeare so I had to give up my Saturdays for them which turned out to be night shoots with the rain machine," she explained. "A lot of long six/seven day weeks in the cold. I must really love that family!"
EastEnders continues on BBC One tomorrow night (December 27) at 8pm.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders gossip, as Aidan's men gather for their criminal heist and Masood's family arrive in Walford.
Source : http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/eastenders/news/a846208/eastenders-jo-joyner-why-returned-guest-role-christmas-2017/