EastEnders has confirmed that Lauren and Abi Branning will be leaving in an explosive Christmas storyline, but not exactly how they’ll depart.
And now speculation is rife that their own father, Max, could kill one of them.
On Tuesday’s This Morning, soap expert Sharon Marshall discussed the girls’ exit and teased that Max might be the man responsible for their demise.
Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, she said: “I’ve been told it’s a really explosive storyline over Christmas and New Year.
“They won’t tell me if they’re leaving in a box or not!”
She then went on to talk about Max, who has been plotting revenge on the Square, including his daughter’s for months.
“So how far will he go to keep his secrets? Abi’s pregnant with dead Steven’s baby so they’ve got to keep the secret that he never had a brain tumour.”
Could Max really kill one of his girls? He feels they’ve wronged him, especially by letting him go to prison for Lucy’s murder when Lauren knew he didn’t do it, but murdering his own child? When he knows how much it hurt after Bradley died? Surely not.
Is the soap about to turn him into the murderer he was accused of being? There’s surely no redemption for him left if so.
News of the Branning lasses departure was announced on Sunday.
A rep for the BBC One soap revealed Jacqueline Jossa – aka Lauren – and on-screen sister Lorna Fitzgerald, best known as Abi, are departing Albert Square.
“We can confirm Jacqueline and Lorna will be leaving,” a spokesperson told The Sun.
“They have been wonderful to work with and we wish them all the best for the future.”
According to the paper, bosses have a juicy exit storyline all sewn up for the pair, which has been described as “one of the biggest on-screen moments of the year”.
Unfortunately – and, perhaps, understandably – the soap is being tight-lipped over how Lauren and Abi will exit Walford.
It’s expected their departures will form part of the soap’s always-exciting Christmas storyline.
The news has been greeted with shock from fans who can’t believe they’ll have to say goodbye to Lauren and Abi.
One outraged fan declared: “Whoever in their idiotic mind decided it was right for Lauren and Abi to be written out? How dare you! I am FUMING!”
Plenty of others followed suit by taking to social media to vent their anger at the news.
Whoever in their idiotic mind decided it was right for Lauren and Abi to be written out. How dare you! I am FUMING. #EastEnders
— Tom Gardiner (@TomGardinerUK) September 10, 2017
— bernadette cooper (@mrsbcooper7) September 10, 2017
— Claire Chabeaux (@ClaireChabeaux) September 10, 2017
— Benji Nowland (@Nowland_Ben) September 10, 2017
As if EastEnders have written out Abi & Lauren? Are they deluded?!?!
— Tashii (@tashiihalsey) September 10, 2017
Devestating to hear that Lauren and Abi looked set to be axed from #EastEnders! Prey they aren't killed off!
— Alex Loukopoulos (@cadburysmeaow) September 10, 2017
Why do @bbceastenders keep getting rid of the best characters?? Ronnie & Roxy, Lauren & Abi? Who's next Stacey?
— Jack Jackson (@MrJackPJackson) September 10, 2017
Jacqueline has been playing Lauren since 2010, when she took over from Madeline Duggan, while Lorna has starred as Abi since 2006.