01/04/2013 09:31 BST

'EastEnders': Jo Joyner Quits Role As Tanya Branning

Jo Joyner is set to bow out of 'EastEnders' in her role as Tanya Branning.

The actress has quit the show following last year's announcement she would originally take an eight-month break from the soap in the summer.

Jo has now decided to leave the role indefinitely to spend more time with her young family and pursue other career opportunities.

Following the announcement, she said in a statement: "I love playing Tanya and being part of such a great show, but she has been on quite a rollercoaster over the past seven years and I have come to realise that it's right for her to step away from Walford for a bit longer than originally planned.

"I have been very fortunate to have been part of some fantastic storylines over the years, and I have worked with some wonderful people during my time on the show which I will always be very grateful for, but I feel that as a mother and an actress it is time for me to explore some other avenues for a while."

Executive Producer Lorraine Newman added: "As the mother of Lauren, Abi and Oscar and the on/off wife to the ever errant Max, life for Tanya has never been easy. However, Jo Joyner's portrayal of Tanya allowed viewers to instantly fall in love with her, creating the cement for a great family.

"From Jo's portrayal of a cancer sufferer's fear to dealing with her daughter's excessive drinking, Jo has delivered high-class drama time and again.

"Later this year we will see the Branning family cope without her. They will of course miss her, as will her colleagues and no doubt the viewers. We wish Jo well on her ventures new."

Jo joined the soap in 2006 and previously took a break from the soap in 2009 to give birth to twins.

Last week it was revealed that Tanya's ex husband Max is set to be rocked by the news that his wife Kirsty is pregnant.


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