Lauren Branning in fiery clash as she returns to EastEnders for showdown

EastEnders,12-12-2022,6606,Sonia Fowler (NATALIE CASSIDY);Lauren Branning (JACQUELINE JOSSA),***EMBARGOED TILL SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

SOAP star Jacqueline Jossa is reprising her role as Lauren Branning for Dot’s funeral.

But upon her return, the EastEnders character bumps into Linda Carter and an explosive exchange ensues.

Jacqueline Jossa will be reprising her role next week

Lauren Branning returns to Walford for Dot’s funeral

But she also confronts Linda Carter

Lauren is one of the many familiar faces due to return to Albert Square as residents gather around to give Dot Branning a proper send-off.

The legendary character died off-screen and her funeral will be a tribute to the actress who portrayed her for more than three decades, June Brown.

Coming up, Lauren arrives for the funeral, four years after leaving Walford to go to New Zealand.

As she joins Ricky, Jack and Sonia, the group begin to reminisce about Dot.

Sonia Fowler (portrayed by Natalie Cassidy) admits she’s been struggling to write her eulogy for Dot.

Mourners arrive later on to pay their respects and Dot’s family are touched to see the outpouring of love coming from many residents.

But before long, Lauren comes face to face with Linda Carter (played by Kellie Bright).

Both women spot one another at The Vic and Linda’s heart is in her mouth at the sight of Lauren.

The latter isn’t one to forgive and forget and immediately lashes out against Linda for breaking her father’s heart.

But Lauren may be surprised to find out there’s something she doesn’t know.

As BBC One viewers may remember, Linda had an affair with Lauren’s father Max Branning in 2020, as her marriage with Mick began to deteriorate.

The pair grew closer and, as their relationship evolved, they decided to move to New Zealand together to be with Lauren.

But Linda eventually admitted she was still in love with Mick which prompted a devastated Max to go above and beyond in the hopes of winning her back.

This led him to blackmail Phil Mitchell into handing over the Vic so he could give it to Linda as proof of his devotion to her.

When Jack told him that Mick was abused as a child, Max was convinced Linda only left him out of pity for the pub landlord and told her he knows everything.

Horrified, Linda made a complaint to the police and Jack was suspended as a result.

The Carters later urged Max to leave the Square and, realising there was nothing left for him, he followed their advice.

Max was last seen in Walford in early 2021, months before Linda gave birth to their daughter Annie.

What will Linda tell Lauren?

EastEnders airs from Monday to Thursday.

Many gather around for Dot’s funeral

But could it be overshadowed by Linda and Lauren’s showdown?