James Archibald Branning was born on the 12th August 1933 in Walford. His grandfather James William Branning died in action when his grandmother was pregnant with his father. Jim was a boxer and gained the nickname "Basher Branning".
Jim met Reenie in the 1950s and they married in 1959 when she was pregnant with Derek Branning. 5 more children were born to the couple over the following years, April Branning, Carol Branning, Suzy Branning, Max Branning and Jack Branning. Jim was hardly ever there for his children as they grew up and was a pretty lousy father.
As a joke, Jim locked his son Max in a coffin when he was 13, however, this haunted Max for the rest of his life. He walked out of Carol's wedding because she was marrying a black man. He didn't talk to Carol for years and didn't care when his grandson Billie Jackson, who was black was born.
Before suffering a stroke in 2007, Jim was a regular bar prop in the Vic and a keen gambler. You wouldn't even trust him with your pint.
His fathering skills left a lot to be desired too, as locking your young son in a coffin overnight wouldn't exactly win Father of the Year! Although, falling in love with Dot and marrying her in 2002 softened his heart.
He almost broke Dot’s heart in 2007 when he suffered a stroke. She feared that she wasn't strong enough to look after him and wrestled with her feelings of guilt and frustration at her inability to stand by her man in his time of need. But love won out in the end.
Jim may have been away, but Dot's visits to his nursing home were something for him to look forward to and he was the man who kept Dot standing when times are hard. Dot watched Jim decline for week after week. Everytime Dot went to visit Jim, she thought it might be for the last time and he thought the same.
When Dot would leave to go Jim would reach out and take her hand and would look at each other, according to Dot that way their goodbyes. Dot visited Jim three times a week for four years, till her son Nick Cotton turned up. Jim stayed in the care home for four years and passed away in his sleep in April 2015. In December 2015 his Urn is seen in 23 Albert Square and his wife and family scatter them in the Albert Square garden.
1. Joey - Accidentally sucked him up a vaccum cleaner.