Jo Joyner reveals her favourite EastEnders storylines and scenes!

by Lynn Connolly

EastEnders star Jo Joyner has been telling TV Times which of her many gripping storylines in the role of Tanya Jessop have been her favouites…

Since Tanya and Max Branning (Jake Wood) arrived on the Square in 2006, it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for the couple, with affairs, break-ups, reconciliations, violence, and even attempted murder, twice!

And it’s one of those murder attempts that Jo said was a favourite plotline – when Tanya and Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) buried Max alive. The other murder attempt on poor old Max was when his daughter Lauren ran him over.

Getting back to the horror of Tanya and Sean burying Max alive in 2008, Jo said, “That was a bit ‘out there’, but great to do.

“That’s soap – it’s heightened and unreal, and if it showed mundane life all the time, no one would watch it.

“It was an extreme storyline and an extreme test to try and bring the truth to it, and make it feel real.”

I remember it vividly, given it’s one of my biggest fears! Click ‘Read more’ to relive those shocking scenes…

Also high on Jo’s list of memorably storylines was when Tanya gave birth to Oscar in 2007 at home, and Max had to deliver the baby.

Of that, Jo said, “Oh, I loved that! I remember saying to the Production team, ‘It’s ridiculous; who gives birth in 45 minutes at home?’ and them saying, ‘Funnily enough, here’s the transcript of a women whose husband was on the phone to doctors whilst she gave birth in the front room in 45 minutes.’

“So that was the inspiration for the story, and I realised that when you’ve had a few children, it can get quicker and quicker.”

Here’s a clip of that dramatic scene…

However, when asked which was her all time favourite scene, Jo said it was from Christmas 2007, when the whole Branning clan found out Max had been having an affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

And it’s one of my all time greatest EastEnders moments too.

Jo said, “This will always be my proudest time at EastEnders. It was such a great storyline; so well thought out and well presented.

“What I loved about those episodes was that there was no great expense, no massive stunts; it was just brilliant writing, good directing and great work.

“I thought it was incredibly believable. It’s the sort of thing that happens all over the country in various different ways.”

Here’s that gut wrenching scene again…

Which of Tanya’s storylines have been your favourites?

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.