EastEnders: See new pictures of Derek Branning’s funeral, and find out why Tanya Branning slaps her daughter Lauren!

by Lynn Connolly

As fans of EastEnders will know, Walford baddie Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) is to die over Christmas, and though it hasn’t yet been revealed what exactly he dies of – whether it’s natural causes or something more sinister – we do know that his funeral will air on January 4th…

After the jump, we have some new images for you of the funeral and as you’ll see, there’s not exactly a rush of people ready to deliver any moving tributes to Derek, and in fact only Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell) has anything like a kind word to say about him during the service.

Not even his brothers Max (Jake Wood) or Jack (Scott Maslen) seem to have a good word to say about Derek at his big send off, although that is most likely because on Christmas Day, Derek is due to spill the beans about Max’s big secret to the entire Branning clan…

And Derek doesn’t put himself at the top of Jack’s Christmas card list when he reveals the details of Sharon’s (Letitia Dean) addiction to painkillers!

However, after Derek’s death, his son Joey (David Witts) – who will leave the Square soon as he tries to get over losing Lauren, but who will be back for the funeral – can’t resist having a dig at Max and Jack for “playing happy families” once Del’s dead.

And as if all that trauma wasn’t enough, when Lauren (Jacqueline Jossa) gets very drunk and confesses to her dad Max all about her romance with Joey – and he “goes off on one” – she and mum Tanya (Jo Joyner) get into a row…

And as things turn super bitchy, Lauren threatens to rip up Tanya’s wedding dress, which earns her a slap round the face!

In fact, Lauren’s Christmas is going to go from bad to worse and by New Year, she can’t take the guilt of having Joey go to court to plead guilty to crashing Derek’s car into a shop front when it was in fact she who was driving…

However, Joey will follow Lauren to the police station to try to talk her out of confessing, but is he too late?

Well, we’ll find out in January, but for now, here are the pictures of Derek’s funeral, and of Lauren and Tanya’s showdown!

And here’s the show’s Christmas trailer…

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.