EastEnders Penny Branning returns to ’cause trouble’ as fans expose death twist

EastEnders fans have been speculating why Penny Branning is returning to Albert Square and believe it could be linked to a sudden death.

Penny, the daughter of Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), has always had a troubled relationship with the copper as she was left paralysed from the waist down when one of his criminal associates ran her down and severed her spine. Penny was last seen in Walford 15 years ago before she moved to France with mum Selina (Daisy Beaumont).

Previously played by Mia McKenna Bruce, Penny will now be played by Kitty Castledine and the character will return alongside cousin Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa). Viewers have been questioning what has brought Penny back to Walford after all these years, with many believing her comeback is due to the death of a relative.

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Sharing their thoughts on X, formerly known as Twitter, one viewer speculated: "She’s 25 now. Penny hasn’t been seen since 2008. Can’t think what would bring her back, other than a funeral of a well known family member. I wonder if she encountered Peter, Cindy and Ian in France."

A second added: "This will be interesting because I never knew that Jack has a daughter named Penny. I wonder if Penny and Lauren had a funeral in France before returning to Walford? Either way I'm looking forward to getting to know Penny and I can't wait for Lauren's return."

Another said: "I can’t stop thinking about Lauren and Penny dressed in black. What if Cora’s dying! What if she’s already dead?! A fourth speculated: "Penny and Lauren set to return for the funeral of Ricky jr as the actor Frankie day leaves for Hollywood stardom."

Someone else echoed: "The fact that Penny and Lauren are both in all black significant? Might there be a funeral coming up?" Following news of Penny's return, Daily Star used artificially intelligent "creative" tool Bard AI to find out how her arrival will impact her family on the Square.

The programme said: "Penny's return will be a major storyline for Jack, who has always had a fractured relationship with his eldest daughter. It is not yet clear why Penny is returning to Walford, but it is sure to be a dramatic storyline.

"Penny's return is sure to stir up trouble for Jack and the rest of the Branning family. It will be interesting to see how she has changed since she was last in Walford, and whether she can repair her relationship with her father."

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