Ex EastEnders actress Jo Joyner: Who is she and how did she leave the BBC soap?

She played mum-of-four Tanya Cross

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Jo Joyner, the former EastEnders star, might be best known to many for her role in the BBC soap.

But who is the actress, who is she married to and what else has she appeared in?

EastEnders Tanya
Jo as Tanya in EastEnders, a role she played for over a decade (Credit: BBC / YouTube)

When did Jo Joyner leave Eastenders?

The 43-year-old actress said goodbye to her Walford role in 2018, after playing Tanya since 2006.

Tanya Cross (previously Jessop and before that, Branning) left the soap fearing she was a failure as a mother.

Read more: 2020 Soap Highlights: Emmerdale, Coronation Street and EastEnders

Abi, one of her daughters, suffered brain damage as the result of a fall off a roof and later, while she lay in a coma, her family made the decision to withdraw her life support. Doctors said she would never recover.

The last viewers saw of Tanya, she was too traumatised to get out of the car at Abi’s funeral.

Jo is also known for her role in Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge (Credit:

Who did Jo play in the cast of Ackley Bridge?

Another major role on Jo’s acting CV is her character Mandy Carter, the career-driven headteacher in Ackley Bridge.

Jo has been in the Channel 4 comedy-drama since its launch 2017 and has appeared in all four series since.

She is determined, organised and possibly a little bit fierce at work.

She told Metro, ahead of the first series: “It was nice to have a woman at the head of the school and she is completely career driven.

The star is married to fellow actor Neil Madden (Credit:

“She has worked so hard to lead this new venture that she has neglected her home life.

“She is determined, organised and possibly a little bit fierce at work but at home and relationship life is less in her control.”

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A post shared by Jo Joyner (@dollyjj)

Who is Jo Joyner’s husband Neil Madden?

Jo is married to Neil Madden, a fellow actor.

The pair tied the knot in 2007 and have two children – 11-year-old twins Freddie and Edie.

Read more: EastEnders’ Jo Joyner reveals she wasn’t told about Lauren Branning recast

Neil has appeared in a number of TV shows, including as a character called Samuel in a 2010 episode of Holby City, and a paramedic in Silent Witness in the same year.

He has also acted in Heartbeat, Doctors and The Bill.

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