EastEnders legend reunited with her on-screen mum for new drama

Jo Joyner on reuniting with her EastEnders mum Ann Mitchell

EASTENDERS legend Jo Joyner has been reunited with her Walford mum Ann Mitchell for a new Channel 5 psychological thriller.

My exclusive image shows them together for the first time since 2018 in the drama For Her Sins.

Jo Joyner, who played Tanya Branning in EastEnders, reunites with Walford mum Ann Mitchell for the first time since 2018

Jo, who played Tanya Branning in the soap, said: “When the message came through, I texted Ann and said, ‘We really must look like each other if this is going to keep happening’. It’s fate!

“My dad doesn’t have a sister but if he did, I think she’d look like Ann.”

Ann, who played Cora Cross on EastEnders, added: “I was absolutely thrilled, it was lovely to see her again.”

Jo added: “Even I can see a familiar family feel about her. Our families are from the same area, from the East End.

“You just never know if you went further back down our family trees there might be some distant relative in there.”

Ann said: “The first time we met on this I remember it was on location and the sun was shining and she and Rachel came out of makeup, and it was just lovely to see Jo with the sun shining behind her. She looked golden.

“What I love about Jo is that she is focused as I am before a shot.

She is ready and I like the kind of shorthand that we have.

Also, we can tell each other if, like on this shoot, there were a couple of things where I thought I didn’t do right, and I would ask Jo ‘What did you think? Was that ok? Should we go again?’

And she was extremely supportive. She said No every time!”

The veteran actress may now progress a project with co-star Rachel Shenton.

Ann revealed: “And I got to know Rachel very well and hopefully we may do something together. We are flirting around with an idea.’

Jo, who is Laura, and Ann, who is Maggie, play a mother and daughter in the Channel 5 show.

Jo said: “It’s complex because you will do anything for your children. I completely understand Maggie’s perspective.

“She just wanted the best for Laura and she is coming at it not just as a mother but as somebody who knows the law and the possibilities.

“She has made a split-second decision.

“By the end of filming, I felt quite sorry for Laura because this was never a conscious choice for Laura to live this secret and keep this journey going.

“It was decided for her by her mum really at a very young age, too young for her to have ever made that decision.

“It’s a complex piece and obviously Ann Mitchell is fantastic as Maggie.

“Ann always brings truth to what she plays but she also brings a real status to things even when she is low status because she has got such a presence.

“And when she is playing a high-powered businesswoman like Maggie with her own practice it’s intimidating.

“You can immediately see why Laura even as a grown woman can’t go against her mum let alone when she was a kid. Poor Laura.”

The four-parter begins tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm.

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