EastEnders: Jamie Foreman says of watching the show before his role as Derek Branning, “I’d be rewriting things in my own head”

by Lynn Connolly

As fans of EastEnders will know, Derek Branning is being killed off at Christmas, which of course means that Jamie Foreman, who plays villainous Derek, is leaving the show…

And in an interview with TV Biz, it seems he’s not altogether happy with how his character has developed, or with being written out!

He began by saying that when he first learned about his character, and his difficult relationships with his son and daughter Joey (David Witts) and Alice (Jasmyn Banks) he had hoped that they might end up being close.

However, that of course hasn’t happened – with Joey at least – of which Jamie said, “I just hate having to play the same scene over and over again.

“After about four months of playing the same thing, it’s very difficult for actors to do…

“Easy to write but very difficult to play. You’re like, ‘Not again’.”

He added, “I love things that develop and delve and dig and peel the layers of the onion off, so sometimes that becomes a little bit frustrating.

“My wife is a big fan of EastEnders so I used to watch it with her because I had to. I’d eat my dinner and keep quiet but I’d be rewriting things in my own head.

“When I came into the show, I didn’t want to play a stereotypical bad guy.

“I wanted to move Derek around and Alice’s character gave me the opportunity to explore that other side and get his family back together, and for him to find a bit of happiness and peace in his life…

“That’s what we discussed at the beginning but it never panned out that way. But Alice shows the teddy bear in Derek.”

However, Jamie went on to say that he’s glad his role on EastEnders has upped his profile with viewers.

He explained, “All the films I’ve done, none of the kids out there will have seen them. My own kids only got to see them later in life. So it’s been great.

“Derek says it how he sees it and shoots from the hip and I think that’s what people like. As corrupt as Derek is, he’s also very honest.

“Painfully honest at times.”

EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC1 when we’ll see Derek almost catching lovers Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa) and Joey sharing a kiss.

Here’s a sneak peek…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.