Bradley was born when his parents Max and Rachel were 18 after 24 hours. Max held him for an hour after he was born since Rachel had passed out. Max kept thinking he was going to drop him, but he never did. He also described how Bradley was the first person who meant more to him than his own skin.
Bradley idolised his dad as a small child, and Max felt that Bradley was the only person he could be honest with. Not long before Bradley's sixth birthday, Max left the family to marry his pregnant mistress Tanya Cross. Bradley was devastated after his father's departure, and used to sit by the window crying, waiting for his dad to come home. He forgot about the window after his sixth birthday and Rachel got him a bike. Max attempted to return to see Bradley on his birthday, but Rachel refused to let him in. Rachel and Bradley moved to Tring not long after.
When Bradley was 12, a group of boys beat him up because of the colour of his hair. For his 16th birthday, he went bowling with some mates.
Bradley first arrives in Walford and comes to live with Jim Branning and his wife, Dot Branning. He meets Stacey Slater on his first day in Walford, along with Deano Wicks. Deano spikes Stacey's drink with ketamine, and she collapses in the Square. Bradley tries to help her, but Stacey thinks he is trying to attack her and punches him in the eye. Bradley is arrested and almost charged with attempting to rape Stacey, but he is let off when Deano confesses. Jim and Charlie Slater decide that Bradley and Stacey would make a good couple, so they attempt to push them together. Bradley takes Stacey on a date to Fargo's, where she orders the most expensive dish on the menu. Bradley doesn't have enough money for the meal and gets Stacey to chip in, after he suggests to a waiter that she could stay and help do the washing up to cover the bill. However, Bradley and Stacey fall out when Stacey reveals Pat Butcher and Patrick Trueman's affair in front of the whole pub on Pauline Fowler's wedding day.
Bradley is further annoyed when Stacey shouts at Demi Miller, after seeing Bradley and Demi chatting. She immediately assumes that there is something going on between them and is jealous. However, Bradley is impressed when Stacey apologises to Demi, but he immediately realises why as she asks him to go for a drink. Stacey forgets all about the drink with Bradley when she spots Ruby Allen on the Square for the first time in weeks, but Ruby is cold and distant. Stacey is reduced to tears, and hits the bottle that evening. She flirts with Jake Moon, making Bradley jealous. Jake attempts to take a drunken Stacey home, but Bradley, thinking he is attacking her, tackles Jake to the ground. Later, Bradley kisses Stacey.
Bradley borrows his boss' car to impress Stacey, but whilst on a ride they accidentally run over Betty, Pauline's dog. Bert Atkinson attempts to make Bradley do his dirty washing, much to Bradley's infuriation, under the excuse he is working hard at the allotment. Bradley discovers he is actually sunning himself with Mo Harris, and passes photographs round the Vic.
Bradley invites Stacey to a night out with his work friend, Steve Clarke, but Stacey catches the two of them jeering at a stripper, so she leaves. Bradley is annoyed that Stacey stood him up, but she reveals she saw him at the club. Stacey wants to move back in with her mother, Jean, and doesn't bother to tell Bradley until the last minute. She also refuses to let Bradley meet Jean. Jean makes Stacey stay on Albert Square. When Bradley probes to find out about Stacey's mum again, Stacey loses her temper and Bradley calls time on their relationship. However, he regrets the decision and turns up unexpectedly at Jean's flat. Jean takes an instant shine to him and Bradley and Stacey reconcile, deciding to sleep together for the first time. They sneak into Ruby's empty house, 5 Albert Square, to do it. The morning after, Bradley tells Jim about it, who blurts it out to the whole pub, angering Bradley and upsetting Stacey. Jim and Bradley make up.
Bradley's absent father, Max Branning arrives in Walford in June 2006 with the intention of reconnecting with Bradley, after his wife Tanya Branning kicked him out for having an affair. Bradley walks in on Max attacking Jim over his childhood, and is horrified to learn his identity. Max explains he wants to make amends and get to know his son, but Bradley is sceptical, especially when he hears his father has had another affair. Max tells Bradley that it was his decision how much further things went, but he later promises Tanya that they will move to the Square. Bradley and Stacey make the most of the use they have of Ruby's house, but they are put in a difficult position when Jake shows Max and Tanya around the house while they are upstairs. They are eventually caught by Jake and Ruby.
Max and Tanya move to the Square with their two daughters Lauren Branning and Abi Branning. Max meets Jim and Bradley in the Vic, and he and Bradley manage to have a civil pint together. Max tells Bradley that Tanya, Lauren and Abi can't wait to meet him. However, unbeknownst to Bradley, they have not even been told that that was part of the reason they moved to Walford. Bradley returns home to No. 25, where a quick conversation with Jim and Stacey reveals his father's lies. Bradley storms round to introduce himself to his stepmother. Tanya immediately wants to move again, but after seeing Lauren speak to Bradley, and futher consideration, she decides that it is best they stay in Walford.
Bradley blanks Lauren and Abi in the cafe, enraging Tanya, who later invites him round for dinner. Max is delighted at the chance to sit down with his son. When the evening comes, it is awkward and Max doesn't show up. Bradley is furious, and vents this on Tanya. He reveals his disgust with her over breaking up his parents' marriage, but discovers she had no idea about Max's family when she began an affair with him. Max returns home long after Bradley leaves and realises he has missed his chance with his son again. Max's mistress, Gemma, comes looking for him. She wants him to leave Tanya to be with her. Bradley discovers the truth and angry with Max, who asks him to lie to Tanya. He debates telling her, but in the end decides not to destroy Lauren and Abi the way he was. He also manages to get rid of Gemma. Max manages to embarrass Bradley in front of his work friend Steve, leading to Steve bullying Bradley at work. When he hears they are both up for a promotion, Bradley, at Max's advice, manages to get Steve sacked. Jim discovers Bradley's deceit and throws him out of the house. Jim is pleased with his plan to get Bradley away from Max by forcing him to return to Tring to live with his mother, but it fails when Bradley decides he doesn't want to return to Tring and instead decides to move in with Max. Jim phones Bradley's mother Rachel Branning in an emergency, stopping Bradley from moving in with Max. Tensions are caused when Rachel pretends that Max kissed her, but Bradley convinces her to go home.
Stacey and Bradley are invited to dinner at the Branning's home, to celebrate Bradley's 19th birthday. However, Stacey walks out halfway and is followed by Bradley. She explains that she is pregnant, leaving Bradley upset and angry as he believes they are too young to have a baby - however, it is revealed that he doesn't want a baby with her because he doesn't want it to affect his new job and what his colleagues think of him. He pressures her to have an abortion, which they both end up regretting.
Stacey and Bradley move into 41 Albert Square with Ruby and Sean Slater, who become engaged. Bradley attempts to celebrate Stacey's 18th birthday by buying tickets to the London Eye, but she misses it. They decide to go out for dinner instead, but she flies off the handle when she worries about how much he has spent on her birthday. Ruby leaves the Square and puts the house up for sale, meaning Bradley moves back to Jim and Dot's.
Bradley is invited to a party by his work, but doesn't invite Stacey to be his plus-one. She is upset by this and turns up at the party. She introduces herself as Bradley's girlfriend and is instantly annoyed by how visibly ashamed Bradley is by her. She gets even angrier as he flirts with one of his female colleagues. She goes into the toilets to clean up and is followed by one of Bradley's male work colleagues who then tries to rape her. She fights him off and goes to find Bradley. She is heartbroken as he doesn't stick up for her, and throws a drink over the woman he has been flirting with all night. He drags her out and dumps her. A distraught Stacey goes back to the square and begins to smash the windshield in of Bradley's car. She is stopped by Max Branning and they end up kissing.
Bradley begins going out with Lydia Asler, but he realises he still has feelings for Stacey, and finds Lydia too full on. He dumps her on Valentines Day, and declares his love for Stacey outside her window. Unbeknownst to him, she has Max in her bed. Bradley then starts going out with Preeti Choraria, but he begins to reconcile with Stacey after she looks after him when he is sick. Stacey gets back from looking around her and Max's new flat and runs into Bradley, who tries to let her know he is still interested. He discovers the yellow underwear that Max bought for Stacey in her pocket, so Stacey lies and tells him she is seeing a married man. Bradley reads the text messages on Stacey's phone and worries. The night of Max's 30-minute countdown, a tipsy Bradley declares his love for Stacey. She tells him to go home and sober up.
Stacey gets back together with Bradley. They decide to get married, but the night Bradley proposes, Max returns and tries to convince Stacey that Bradley is only second best. Dot and Mo stress Bradley out about the wedding, so he calls Rachel to get her to help organize it. Bradley is heartbroken when Jim suffers a stroke. On their wedding day Stacey and Max kiss and this is filmed by Lauren. When Stacey goes to her family home she is confronted by her brother, Sean, who has discovered Max and Stacey's affair. He beats up Max, but both Max and Stacey explain that they have stopped their affair. Sean says that Stacey must stop the wedding - either she must tell Bradley the truth or he will. But Stacey still goes to get married and bans Sean from attending. Halfway through the ceremony, Stacey sees Sean at the back of the church and gets cold feet, leaving her to walking out. Bradley and Max then try to convince Stacey to marry Bradley but she says she won't. Sean then comes in and convinces her to marry Bradley as he is good for her. Stacey and Bradley then marry.
Bradley and Stacey enjoy life as a married couple, and on Christmas Day 2007, Bradley shows Stacey their new flat that they will be living in together. However, later that day, Bradley receives a Christmas present from Lauren - his wedding video. The video has the clip of Max and Stacey's kiss. Bradley is horrified, and stumbles outside, throwing up in the gardens. Jack Branning buys him a stiff drink, Bradley punches Max and kicks Stacey out - ending their marriage.
Bradley runs away to Tring after Christmas, and Stacey goes looking for him for Valentines Day, buying two tickets to a Doctor Who convention to entice him back. She discovers he is staying with his friend Lorraine, who she suspects is his girlfriend; she is actually a lesbian. Bradley returns his wedding ring to her and tells her it is over. He returns to 25 Albert Square, where he meets Clare Bates. Clare and Jack encourage him to move on with his life, when Stacey makes him jealous by going out with Steven Beale. Bradley gets a job at a construction site, selling flats, and Clare has a celebration for him with Mickey Miller and Gus Smith. She asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, specifically to make Stacey jealous. Bradley agrees to babysit for Lauren and Abi whilst Tanya and Max have a romantic meal; Tanya and Sean attempt to bury Max alive. Clare tries to seduce Bradley by dressing as Princess Leia, and he helps her steal jewellery from a man she was having an affair with, believing it to be hers. Bradley's boss Maggie Townsend sexually harasses him, and they end up sleeping together, but he does not get his job back.
Bradley begins to reconnect with Stacey after she steals his car. Dot and Jean lock them in No. 25, and they get back together. Bradley discovers Clare's black book of men she is targeting, with his and Max's name in it. Stacey tells her to stay away from Bradley. As revenge, Clare throws a party at Dot's house and leaves the house trashed. Stacey tells him to leave the mess and see who cracks first, but Bradley admits he can't live in a mess.
Stacey and Bradley begin to try for a baby, but Stacey goes on the pill behind Bradley's back. On Bradley's birthday, Max gives Bradley £40,000. Stacey tells him to not take it, but Bradley takes the gift anyway and spends it on a James Bond themed party. Stacey discovers the truth about the money, so she has a row with Bradley and kisses Callum Monks, but feels guilty later. Max suspects there is something going on with Stacey and Callum, and tries to pay Callum off, but Callum tells Bradley, who promptly lays into Max and splits with Stacey. Bradley begins to stop going to work and takes up drinking at home. When Max is almost killed in the hit and run (orchestrated by Lauren), Bradley hisses to his unconscious father that he wishes he would never wake up. Bradley spends Christmas 2008 in Tring with his mother.
Bradley meets someone who needs help fixing his car. He drives this man home because his car couldn't start. The man leaves him with a St.Bernards dog called Gumbo. Bradley doesn't like Gumbo at first and tried to get rid of him, but decides to keep him in the end. This leads him to meeting Syd Chambers, who owns dog called Sugar. Bradley gets into a relationship with Syd. Bradley ends up losing his job and was scared if Syd found out that she would dump him. He has no idea where he is supposed to find the money for another date. This had the opposite effect and Syd liked that Bradley was honest and kissed him.
Bradley, along with Syd, Lauren, Abi, Dotty Cotton, Lucy Beale, Heather Trott and Ryan Malloy, is taken hostage in cafe by Nick Cotton. They manage to overpower Nick and escape as the cafe catches fire, but seeing the worry on Dot's face, Bradley runs back into the burning building to rescue Nick. Nick escapes out the back and the gas pipe explodes with Bradley still inside. He sustains burns and shards of glass in his eye, but he recovers.
Whilst at a house party, Bradley and Stacey are locked in a bedroom. She checks the time and goes to take her medication, but Bradley mistakes this for drugs and snatches the pills off her. She then explains that she has bipolar, saying "like mother, like daughter". Syd walks in and is annoyed. Syd and Bradley decide to leave Walford to start a new life together with her son Noah Chambers, and Syd has a job in Canada. However, at the leaving party in the Vic, Stacey - who is suffering from a bipolar manic episode - comes in to say goodbye. She breaks a glass and points it at Archie Mitchell, who had raped her and leaves and goes back home. She is sectioned in the street after being chased out of her house by doctors; whilst she is forced into the back of a police car she screams for Bradley. Bradley leaves in the cab with Syd and Noah.
After Rachel and Masood Ahmed's car crash, Bradley returns to the UK to see his mum and Stacey. He brings her home from hospital and they admit they still love each other. Bradley breaks up with Syd and Stacey and Bradley reconcile. At Christmas she tells him that she is pregnant. He is overjoyed, thinking the baby is his until she says that she is 3 months pregnant, and the baby cannot be Bradley's. After admitting Archie Mitchell raped her, Bradley vows to raise the child as his own. Bradley then stormed over to the Vic and punched Archie. The next morning, Archie was found dead and Bradley became embroiled in his murder. Archie's daughter Ronnie then tells Stacey that Archie was sterile due to Cancer treatment, making Stacey realise that Whitney Dean's brother Ryan must be the baby's father.
Bradley then admits he he killed Archie. However, it was in fact Stacey that killed Archie. They remarry and plan to leave the square and go on the run. However, Stacey's friend Becca Swanson calls the police to tell them where Bradley is. They try to flee the Square, but are spotted by DCI Marsden. Attempting to lead the cops away, Bradley scaled the Vic and accidentally fell. He died from his injuries as Stacey admitted to Max that she killed Archie Mitchell. Bradley's funeral took place on 5 March 2010.
In June 2010, Stacey gives birth to a daughter who she names Lily. Bradley's ashes are given to Stacey in an urn, but Becca throws the urn at Stacey; it smashes against the wall and Bradley's ashes end up being washed off in the bath. Both Stacey and Lily retain the surname "Branning" until Stacey marries Martin Fowler.
Max admitted to Jack that he still goes and visits Bradley's grave to chat to him, and told Bobby Beale in 2019 that he'd "give anything to see Bradley again."