The on-screen sisters are both being written out of the show
We’ve got some sad news from the set of EastEnders today.
It’s been announced that Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald – who play Lauren and Abi Branning respectively – are leaving our screens. BOOOO 😢.
A spokesperson for the BBC1 soap tells MailOnline: ‘We can confirm that Jacqueline and Lorna will be leaving EastEnders. They have both been wonderful to work with and we wish them all the best for the future.’
Jacqueline, 24, first appeared as Lauren in 2010, taking over the role from Madeline Duggan. Lorna, 21, has played Abi for 11 years.
The decision is said to be part of a shake-up by EastEnders boss John Yorke, who took charge of the show back in June.
A source tells The Sun: ‘John has form for creating huge plots, so they’re in safe hands over their departure. It will be one of the biggest on-screen moments of the year.
‘Sometimes a great storyline comes at the cost of losing some characters. The cast will be sorry to see them go.’
Neither actress has directly spoken about the news, but Jacqueline appeared to make a nod to it on her Instagram page over the weekend.
She shared a still of herself and Lorna in character, adding the simple caption: ‘❤️❤️.’
And Lorna did something similar on Twitter, writing: ‘@jacquelineMjos 😘👯.’
Of course, viewers were quick to comment. One mourned: ‘Can’t believe it,going to miss you both being on eastenders so much😫❤️,’ while another said: ‘Actually gutted about this! 😭The Brannings are the best thing about Eastenders! [sic].’
One particularly upset fan ranted: ‘If they kill both your characters off then I will stop watching you have my word, still not over Roxie and Ronnie. Why do they spend so much time giving each character stories, plots, links to other characters to just kill them all off?! [sic].’
Aw. We’re really going to miss you, girls!