EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders‘ executive producer Chris Clenshaw has spoken about the big returns – and notable absences – in Dot Branning’s funeral episodes.
Some familiar faces will head back to Walford next week as the local community gathers to pay its respects to Dot following her sad death.
In October, EastEnders announced that Dot’s old friends Colin Russell, Mary Smith, Lofty Holloway, Disa O’Brien and Barry Clark will return for the event.
Lauren Branning also jumps on a plane from New Zealand to be part of Dot’s emotional send-off.
Related: EastEnders boss explains Sonia Fowler focus in Dot Branning’s death storyline
However, the show has already started to write in on-screen reasons why certain characters from Dot’s life – such as her half-sister Rose, nephew Andrew and grandson Charlie – won’t be appearing.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media about the returning cast, Clenshaw commented: “It’s being truthful – you go to funerals and you see people that you haven’t seen in decades that will make an effort to go to that funeral because they made an impression on that person’s life.
“There were people that couldn’t come unfortunately, and that was due to logistical reasons. But it was about being authentic and truthful to Dot’s character as to who would be there.”
Related: EastEnders‘ Dot Branning to get special ending theme in funeral episode
Jacqueline Jossa, who’s returning as Lauren, previously promised that her character will keep Walford up to date with the latest gossip on the absent Brannings.
“She’s still the same old Lauren, but maybe grown up a little bit! I think she’ll be able to provide some updates about other members of the Branning family,” Jacqueline said.
“Hopefully, Lauren coming home is something positive and light. Obviously, Lauren is upset to lose Grandma Dot, but it’s a bittersweet feeling to be back.
“June deserves the send-off she’s going to get at EastEnders, and I wanted to be a part of that and be involved. It was nice to be there to represent that side of the Branning family because there are family members always off gallivanting and doing different things.”
EastEnders airs on Mondays – Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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