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The Branning family, together with the Jackson family are an extended family in EastEnders. The family has been central to some of EastEnders most notable storylines since their debut in 1993.

Introduced in 1993 were the Jackson family, consisting of Carol Jackson (née Branning), her partner Alan Jackson, and Carol's four children, Bianca, Sonia, Robbie, and Billie. Billie is the only child fathered by Alan, while Bianca is the daughter of David Wicks, Sonia's father is Terry Cant and Robbie's is Gary Bolton. The family becomes a more dominating presence in the early 2000s, when Carol's father Jim Branning moves to Walford following the death of his wife Reenie. Since then, all six of Jim's children have appeared, many of them with family.

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The Jackson family in 2008.

Between 2006 to 2012, new influx of Branning's join the show - Max Branning, his wife Tanya and their children Lauren and Abi. Max and Tanya later have another child Oscar Branning. Max's son Bradley Branning was introduced earlier in 2006.

Jim's son Jack Branning and his daughter Penny Branning are introduced, as well as Bianca's children Liam, Tiffany and Morgan Butcher and her adopted daughter Whitney Dean. Suzy Branning also returns to the show, although she leaves a few months later. In 2010, Carol returns the show with her son Billie. Also in 2010, Bradley and Billie were killed off. Once again in 2012, the Branning family are expanded with Derek Branning returning alongside his children Joey and Alice Branning. Carol's daughter Sonia returns in 2014 with her daughter Bex Fowler, as does Robbie in both 2015 and 2017. Carol departs in 2015, Abi and Lauren in 2017, Robbie in 2019 and Bex in 2020. Max then departs in 2021.

As of 2021, the remaining Branning's consist of Jack Branning, his children Amy and Ricky Mitchell and Abi's daughter Abi Branning Jr. Branning family members such as Sonia, Bianca's daughter Tiffany, her ward Whitney and Bradley's widow Stacey Slater remain in the series but are currently considered part of other families. Rainie Highway might also be considered part of the family since she was married to Max from 2018-2020 and is now the legal guardian of Abi Jr.

Storylines[]

Backstory[]

In the episode broadcast on 6 April 2010, Carol describes her great-grandfather, James William Branning , who was born on 12 December 1876. At the age of nineteen, James conceived a child and married his pregnant partner on 2 January 1897. Two months later he joined his fellow soldiers of the Royal West Surrey regiment to complete a tour of Afghanistan. Whilst on tour he died of fatal wounds, aged twenty. His early death meant he never saw his son, who went on to have two children, one of whom is Jim.

When Carol was fourteen she got pregnant by David Wicks, leading to a strained relationship with her father and her brother, Derek, bullying David and his family into leaving. Jim also had a strained relationship with his wife Reenie as he never really loved her but only married her as she was pregnant with his child. When Max was young, he made friends with a black child at school, leading to Jim and Derek burying him alive as punishment. Jim and Max had a very difficult relationship with Jim regularly beating him. However, Jim had very good relations with his two other sons, Derek and Jack, and when Jack stole his WWII medal and blamed Max, Jim and Max’s relationship was broken irreparably leading to Max leaving the family home at 18.

Jim's son Max became a young father and married the mother of his child, Rachel. Rachel gave birth to Bradley but Max's affair with a woman called Tanya Cross resulted in the end of his marriage to Rachel and he walked out on both of them when Bradley was still very young and never had any contact with Bradley until 2006. In 1994, Max and Tanya had a daughter, Lauren, and they married later that year, two years later having another daughter, Abi.

19931999[]

Carol Jackson arrived on Albert Square in 1993 with her children Bianca, Robbie, Sonia, Billie and her boyfriend Alan Jackson. Alan was the father of her youngest child Billie, and Carol and her three other children had taken his surname, as he was a father and husband figure to them all. When April's fiancé, Nikos, jilted her at the altar in 1996, Carol and Alan married in their place. Carol's four children had four different fathers. David Wicks was the father of Bianca, who arrived to live in Albert Square in the same year as the Jacksons, Bianca not knowing he was her father. A man called Terry Cant was Sonia's father, who she did not know and never met, and Gary Bolton was Robbie's father, who lived with Carol, Bianca and Robbie as Carol's boyfriend but later left them after he got another woman pregnant with his second son Kevin.

Bianca started a relationship with Ricky Butcher. Bianca's immature behaviour led Ricky to begin an affair with Bianca's best friend Natalie Price. When the affair was revealed, the relationship ended and she started to see a new potential love interest in David Wicks but was devastated when he was revealed to be her father after a teenage fling with Carol in 1976. Despite her initial upset, Bianca built a paternal bond with David. This led her back into the arms of Ricky and they got engaged in 1995. The two married in 1997 and Bianca fell pregnant with Ricky's child who they intended to call Natasha. However, after a test it was discovered that the unborn baby was suffering from spina bifida and Ricky and Bianca made the heart-breaking decision to abort it. Bianca fell pregnant again and gave birth to baby Liam in The Queen Vic.

April got engaged to a Greek man called Nikos whom she met in Greece after she worked and lived there. The wedding was supposed to take place in April 1996 but Nikos jilted April at the altar. After April started a relationship with Michael Rose, Nikos returned to Walford and tried to win April back. He asked her to marry him again and they eventually left Walford and managed to marry him at the second attempt. It has since been revealed that April still lives in Greece with him.

Alan eventually grew tired of life with Carol and started an affair with singer Frankie Pierre but when it came out he and Carol separated. Carol then tried to make a go of things with her old flame David, Bianca's father. This soon ended and she and Alan reunited but they split up yet again when Alan suffered a nervous breakdown. Carol then became engaged to Dan Sullivan and became pregnant with his child but after he and Bianca started an affair, Carol had the baby aborted and called off the engagement. This led to the end of Bianca's marriage to Ricky and she left for Manchester with Liam and Ricky stayed in Walford. Carol then moved away and reunited yet again with Alan and is now living with him, their son Billie, and Alan's grandmother Blossom Jackson.

When Reenie died, Jim came to live in Walford to look after Sonia and Robbie after Carol left. Jim started a slow burning romance with Dot Cotton and he revealed to Dot he and Reenie never really loved each other and spent their entire married lives arguing. After much chasing, Dot finally agreed to marry Jim, and the two lived together in 25 Albert Square which they still own.

20002005[]

In 2000 Sonia had underage sex with Martin Fowler and she gave birth to baby Chloe in her living room, not knowing she was pregnant. Sonia decided to put the child up for adoption despite opposition from Martin's mother Pauline.

Robbie and Sonia tracked down Gary (Robbie's father) in Portsmouth in 2001, and he later arrived in Walford to speak to Robbie and gave him a cheque for £10,000. He used this money to take a tour of India and pay for Sonia's nursing course. When he returned he started a relationship with widow Nita Mistry. When she decided to return to India so her parents could help her bring up Anish, as she was struggling, Robbie decided to leave with her.

When Martin ran over and killed Sonia's fiancé Jamie Mitchell, Sonia surprisingly started a relationship with him and they eventually married. When Sonia discovered that Chloe's adoptive parents Neil and Sue Miller were both killed in a car crash she tracked down her daughter, now called Rebecca, and made visits to her at adoptive grandmother Margaret Wilson's house. When Sonia revealed her true identity to Margaret she threw her out, and Martin and Sonia agreed to not visit again. When Pauline discovered their secret however, she started making her own visits to Rebecca and even tried to win custody of her at one point, but Sonia convinced her that Rebecca was best off with her adoptive grandmother. Sonia left Martin when she started a lesbian relationship with Naomi Julien, much to Jim's fury. Martin and Sonia later tried to get guardianship of Rebecca in case anything happened to Margaret, but after learning of Sonia's new relationship, Margaret gave Martin sole custody. Margaret later died and Rebecca went to live with the Fowlers, but Pauline's meddling ways stopped Sonia building any sort of relationship with her daughter. Sonia's relationship with Naomi stopped and she eventually got back together with Martin behind Pauline's back. When Pauline died on Christmas Day, Sonia became a suspect in her murder but when the killer was revealed to be Joe Macer, Sonia, Martin and Rebecca left Walford together to tour the United States and live with Michelle Fowler.

20062015[]

Bradley moved to Walford from Tring in 2006 to live with Jim and Dot, after he got a job in London. Max moved his family to Walford later that year, wanting to build a relationship with Bradley again, which he did despite his rivalry with his father Jim. In December of that year, Max started an affair with his son's ex-girlfriend Stacey Slater, who later became his daughter-in-law.

In 2007, Jack Branning moved to Albert Square and began a relationship with Ronnie Mitchell. In 2008, he had a fling with his girlfriend Ronnie Mitchell's sister Roxy she became pregnant and later gave birth to a premature baby girl telling everybody that the father was her husband Sean Slater. But on Christmas Day 2008 it was all revealed as Jack's sister Suzy Branning put the DNA results into Sean's Christmas cracker after being paid by Ronnie and Roxy's father Archie, revealing to the Mitchell family that Sean wasn't the dad. Roxy then admitted that Jack was, in fact, the dad. In 2008 Bianca returns to Walford with her family and is followed soon after by Ricky. Carol, Sonia, Robbie and Billie returned in February 2010 for Bianca's second wedding to Ricky.

On 18 February 2010, Bradley and Stacey got remarried, at the same time that Bianca and Ricky got remarried. On their wedding night, as Bradley was running from the police, he fled up a fire escape; subsequently along rooftops. When on the roof of the Queen Vic, he shouted at Stacey to run, before falling to his death. He was later posthumously blamed for murdering Archie Mitchell.

Carol and Billie later moved in with Max in order to support him through his grief, however Billie's gang crime past was catching up with him. his friend Kylie tried to shoot him in R&R, however, it was his uncle Jack that took the shot, which was in the head. This left Jack paralysed down the left side of his body.

In 2009 while Ronnie and Jack weren't together Jack was seeing Sam Mitchell at the same time Ricky Butcher was. She was arrested for her part in dens murder a few years ago and when Peggy visited her in prison she found out she was pregnant and Sam was sure Ricky was the dad until it was revealed by a DNA test that Jack was, in fact, the dad to baby Ricky Mitchell.

In October 2010 Billie Jackson died the night after his birthday due to excessive consumption of alcohol. This led Carol to self-destructive grief where she turned to Connor Stanley and began a relationship whilst he was seeing her adoptive granddaughter, Whitney. This caused Bianca to attack Connor, which led to her imprisonment.

Jack marries a pregnant Ronnie Mitchell in November 2010. In December, Ronnie gives birth to a boy whom she calls James. However, James dies of sudden infant death syndrome and in a panic Ronnie switches her dead child with that of Kat Moon. When she returns it she is arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment. She divorces from Jack during her imprisonment, but on her release they briefly reunite before he departs in Autumn 2013 while she stays in Walford.

On 24 November 2011, Derek Branning is reintroduced, now as a regular character played by Jamie Foreman. He is an ex-convict on parole, returned to be with his family. He is portrayed as violent, causing fights with Phil Mitchell and Tanya Cross, as well as tormenting Michael Moon and Pat Evans before she dies. He sets out to ruin David's rekindled relationship with Carol when he returns for Pat's death. In 2012, Derek is reunited with his two children Alice and Joey. Joey hates Derek because of Derek's treatment towards his mother, who treat used to hit and the fact he left Joey when he was just 7 and when Alice was a baby, having no contact with them at all. Joey punches Derek refusing to have anything to do with him. However, Joey begins a relationship with his cousin Lauren in secret. When Derek and Tanya find out, he blackmails Tanya to keep quiet. Derek dies of a heart attack on Christmas Day, leaving Alice and Joey grief-stricken.

Lauren develops alcoholism as a result of Max and Tanya's turbulent relationship, which becomes more severe when her parents separate as Max's secret wife Kirsty reveals herself and moves to Walford. She eventually suffers kidney failure and leaves Walford with Tanya and Oscar to receive treatment and counselling for her addiction in Exeter, but returns several months later alone. Despite reconciling his relationship with Kirsty several times, Max ultimately ends the relationship and she leaves Walford.

In 2013, Carol discovers she has breast cancer, and discovers she has the BRCA2 gene, inherited from her mother Reenie, meaning the whole family could have the gene and a high chance of breast cancer in the future. She encourages her brother Max and daughters Sonia and Bianca to get tested, while undergoing chemotherapy herself. She becomes engaged to her old flame David Wicks (Michael French). On the wedding day though things don't go to plan and David ends up suffering a heart attack whilst looking for a gift for Carol. Carol is humiliated, thinking she's been jilted, but when she discovers the truth her anger doesn't subside and they have a heated argument. The next day they have a serious talk and decide to end things, with David leaving the square for good. The family briefly suffer financial difficulties without David looking out for them, but bailiffs are paid of Dot's grandson, Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett), in return for Carol keeping quiet that Dot's son and Charlie's father Nick Cotton is still alive. Carol undergoes a double mastectomy in late July 2014.

In 2014 the Brannings find themselves highly involved in the murder of Lucy Beale. Before her death Lauren and Lucy had set up a business together and Max and Lucy ended up starting a secret relationship. Lucy ended it after becoming involved with Lee Carter, much to the dismay of love rival Whitney and Max who becomes violent towards Lucy. Max starts getting threatening emails from an anonymous person who knows about the relationship and confronts Lucy about it, but she knows nothing. Max aggressively confronts Lucy one night after she questions his parenting skills. Lucy later becomes increasingly guilty after finding out that the reason Whitney has been glaring at her the whole night is due to her finding out about her and Lee. She becomes very emotional whilst going to attend a party with Lauren, but Lauren is quick to dismiss this. Lucy then goes off to meet a business client, but is found dead the next day. When Max and Lucy's affair is exposed, Lauren and Abi briefly move out, but return home when their anger subsides. Abi is also revealed to be Max's anonymous emailer.

Bianca, along with her Tiffany, Morgan and the rest of the Spraggan family move away to Milton Keynes in September 2014.

Sonia, Bex and Martin all return during 2014.

2015-2021[]

Liam leaves with Cindy and her child in 2015 and Carol also leaves later in 2015.

Jack Branning returns in December 2015 to spend time with his kids. He falls in love with Ronnie Mitchell and the two get married for a second time. However on their wedding day (1 January 2017) Ronnie and her sister Roxy, who was in a relationship with Max, both drown in a swimming pool.

When Max returns to Walford, he is hell-bent on revenge after half the Square helped throw him into jail. He becomes involved in a plot run by the Willmott-Brown family, to demolish the Square and replace it with luxury tower blocks.

In August 2017, he is present for Luke Willmott-Brown's prison release party. Mick Carter runs into some money troubles with his and wife Linda Carter's pub, so Max suggests he sell the freehold of the pub to the company he works for, Grafton Hill, who will pay the expenses. Sophie Browning is "assigned" to the pub, and pretends to help the Carters. Shirley is always suspicious of Sophie.

Max manipulates Steven, Lauren's boyfriend, into helping him when he finds out Steven is lying about having a brain tumour to Lauren so she could stay with him. In his bid for revenge on Jane, who deliberately covered up Lucy's murder and was the one who moved the body to save Bobby, Max gets Steven to start a fire at Beale’s. Jane is inside, alone and helpless. Steven wants to save her but Max intervenes. He pushes Steven out and he hits the corner of a table, later causing a fatal bleed. Jane pleads with Max but he leaves her inside the burning building to die. The fire crew get her out and she is in a serious condition for a while. When she recovers, Max is there. He tells her that she has to leave Ian and the Square. She pleads with Max to stop this and he admits he couldn't stop things now even if he wanted to. He also threatens Bobby with a video showing that someone can get to Bobby if she doesn't do as he says. Jane leaves but leaves a voicemail for Stacey, who has her phone stolen from her.

He begins a relationship with Carmel Kazemi upon the Willmott-Brown family's request, as she is part of the planning department at the council and she would be useful for insider information. Carmel doesn't know he is in a relationship with Fi. When she catches Max going through her paperwork, he says he was looking for a lighter and reveals he has been self-harming when he doesn't feel in control of situations.

In November 2017, Max tells Lauren about the scheme, to which she is not keen on, but warms to it after being told by Max that Weyland&Co are offering a huge discount to a penthouse in the new property. Later that day, when Max is talking to James, she storms over to them saying she will not let it happen but stops after James lies to her that the project has been moved to a new location.

In December 2017, Carmel finds an engagement ring which Max had dropped on the sofa the day before. When Max comes later to retrieve it, she puts it back and smiles. Later that day, in the Vic, he kisses Sophie in front of almost the entire Square, including Carmel and his own family. The remainder of the Willmott-Brown family enters and reveal to everyone that Weyland&Co own Grafton Hill. After this, Max proposes to Sophie. He only holds the box out, and James tells him to get down on one knee and ask properly. He asks properly but doesn't get on a knee. She starts shaking her head and stutters Max's name. James starts laughing, and Max asks him what is going on. James tells him he has been useful, but all good things come to an end. He shows him a cheque for £350,000 payable to Max and throws it in the fireplace. The Willmott-Brown family are thrown out of the pub by the Carters.

Max realises he has been betrayed and sits in the pub. Concerned for him, Stacey encourages Jack to get Max out. After the Carters and Ian confront him, Jack tells him it is time to go home. He takes Max home, however just before they leave, Kush enters and punches him. Back at Jack's, Max lights the cigar that James gave him and unbuttons the cuff of his sleeve, revealing his burnt arm. He's about to burn himself when Jack catches and stops him.

Abi and Lauren go to Jack's house and demand the truth. Max tells them he did it for the money. Lauren reveals to Max that Abi is pregnant with Steven's baby. Lauren becomes suspicious of what Max actually knows and he admits he knows Abi was pregnant but didn't want to ruin things for Lauren either. Stacey comes to see how Max is and Lauren and Abi take some of their anger out on her. When she goes to leave, Max stops her at the door and she tells Max he's still her mate. Once Stacey has left, Lauren reveals she has Weyland's copy of the contract, given to her by Josh because they were always going to betray Max and he didn't think it was right. She tells Max he can have it if he tells her the truth and he continues that it was for the money. When Lauren gives up and says she can have the money but she won't have him and gives him the contract he tells her he doesn't care about the money. She doesn't believe him so he burns the contract and tells her he did it for revenge. Lauren rejects Max after he breaks down about his childhood and storms out. Abi tries to console Max but he lashes out at her, calling her disgusting and a slapper, and tells her to go. She runs off and Jack asks Max what's happened to him. Max says his family is wrecked, there's nothing left of them before he goes to the bathroom wanting to burn himself.

Seeing nothing else left for him, Max heads to the roof of the Vic. as he stands on the edge, Abi spots Max and calls out to him. Stacey hears Lauren and Abi shouting and heads outside as well. Lauren and Abi head to the roof to stop Max and while Stacey tells him not to do it. Abi climbs over the wall onto the ledge with her Dad saying she they weren't going in without him and encourages Lauren to also step up, which she does. Max agrees to come down but Lauren stumbles and grabs Abi and both girls fall off the roof. Stacey, Tanya and Max who all witness the fall are all in shock. Mick comes out and calls the police and Sonia arrives and helps the girls.

Max & Lauren prepare for Abi’s machine to be switched off. They go to her flat to get some of her things for her, Max tries to find a pink bunny he got her as a baby. Dot has it and brings it when she visits. When Rainie and Cora arrive, Cora tells Max that Tanya wants him to say goodbye and leave, which he does, despite protests from Lauren and Jack that it’s unfair to Max. Max goes to the hospital chapel, where Tanya is waiting for him to leave. She calls him a coward for trying to commit suicide and says that he killed Abi. She goes to say her own goodbye to Abi but once she sees the bunny Max had placed in Abi’s hand, she asks someone to get Max. Jack goes and finds his brother and he is there as they switch off Abi's machine at 8.32pm, the same time she was born. Lauren leaves Albert Square after Abi's funeral takes place.

Tiffany returns to Walford in 2018, and marries Keegan Butcher-Baker a year later.

Max leaves in February 2021, and Jack becomes a civil partner to Denise Fox in December 2021.

Liam returns to Walford in October 2021, when he decides to reunite with Whitney and Tiffany. He feuds with Keegan due to his affair with Dotty Cotton, which nearly ended his marriage with Tiffany, and temporarily ended his relationship with her. Liam lies to Tiffany about running a garage in Germany, but she discovers that he has been lying and has lost all his money. Liam decides to stay in Walford to stay with Tiffany, and asks Ben for work at Mitchell's Autos. He ignores Cindy's calls and is confronted by Peter Beale after she asks Peter for money. He schemes with Janine Butcher and Billy Mitchell to steal cars and sell them. This nearly goes wrong when Liam accidentally abducts Frankie Lewis when she is trapped inside the boot of the car. Janine refuses to give him his share of the money, and is later manipulated by her to steal the car keys of one of Tiffany's clients from Ruby's (nightclub). Keegan, suspicious of Liam, exposes his plans to Tiffany, but she doesn't believe him. Liam convinces Tiffany to start dating Aaron Monroe, and decides to return to Germany with Tiffany after she breaks up with Aaron. Tiffany writes a letter to Keegan asking him to meet her at the train station so they can reconcile, but Liam switches the letters, causing her to leave without Keegan. Months later, Tiffany returns and realises that Liam swapped the letters, and reconciles with Keegan, and they leave together.

2022-present[]

Amy Mitchell is introduced to Denzel Danes by Kim Fox, who also introduces him to Tommy Moon and Lily Slater. Amy develops a crush on Denzel and steals burgers for them from Walford East to impress him. They are then introduced to Davinder 'Nugget' Gulati, and they take a picture of Amy's legs, calling them hairy. They then post this picture online and Lily sees this and laughs. Amy ends up becoming really insecure and tells her step-sister Chelsea Fox about this, who shouts at Denzel and Nugget and forces them to take it down. However the damage is already done and Amy tries to shave her legs and ends up cutting her skin.

In October 2022, Jack drunkenly kisses the mother of Ricky, Sam Mitchell. Meanwhile, Ricky experiments with Lily Slater, causing the conception of their baby, Charli Slater, who was born in September 2023.

In 2023, it is revealed by Cindy’s brother Peter that Liam and Cindy have broken up and are not on speaking terms.

Family tree[]

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