Jo Joyner

Ackley Bridge star Jo Joyner reveals why she quit and details EastEnders reunion plans

The actress has quit the show - but she has a good reason

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Jo Joyner has revealed why she quit Ackley Bridge after four years.

The actress played headteacher Mandy Carter in the Channel 4 school drama, but has decided to step away so she can live at home permanently again.

Jo Joyner has revealed why she quit Ackley Bridge (Credit: Splash News)

Ackley Bridge star Jo Joyner to prioritise family time

Jo has been spending her weekdays filming the show away from her home and children for four years.

And now, it’s time for her to take more time for her family.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail, she said the show “came at a really good time.”

Read more: Cheryl Baker begs EastEnders bosses for a second chance after audition fail

The actress explained: “There had been a lot of terrorist activity here and abroad and it was a good time to have a programme that celebrated people’s differences and understood their similarities. I love Channel 4 for that – I think it’s what they do best.

“But it’s a long way from home for me and it was a lot of time, three or four years of being away from Monday to Friday for months on end. A little bit like Mandy, I felt the whole thing was up and running, the kids were owning it and it didn’t need me any more.

“So at the end of last year’s series I let them know that I was probably ready to move on. I love Mandy and I wanted to give her an exit, but it was up to them whether they hit me with a bus!”

EastEnders Branning family reunion planned says Jo Joyner

The former EastEnders star also opened up about planning a reunion for her soap family.

Now that her on-screen husband Jake Wood has left the soap, the pair are planning to meet up with their families.

She told the Express: “We were going to get together with our families, I know his wife well and he’s got those two gorgeous kids.

“We were all going to go and watch Jacqueline Jossa in A Christmas Carol in January. We’d booked our tickets and I’d said let’s eat first if we can – maybe put the kids on a different table! And we were all set to do that then everything closed down.

Read more: Holby City: EastEnders star Davood Ghadami joins cast

“But, without a doubt, I’d love to meet up with him in the summer and I’m sure we will, as soon as we’re able to, go for something to eat and chat it all over.”

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