Madeline Duggan: remember EastEnders OG Lauren Branning? Here’s what she’s doing now

She was the daughter of Max Branning and sister of Abi Branning

Madeline Duggan

by Asher Brandon |
Updated on

You probably know Madeline Duggan best for her stint as Lauren Branning in Eastenders. Well if that's all you know her from you are in for a surprise.

Madeline, just like her costar and onscreen romantic interests Thomas Law, has changed A LOT since she first arrived in Albert Square, to the point you'd be forgiven for not immediately recognising her at all.

During her stint on the show as Lauren she definitely bought the drama, with storylines involving romance, adultery and attempted murder - A LOT considering Madeline was only 13-years-old when she joined the cast.

If this has got you wondering what the ex-soap-star is up to now you're in luck as we have you sorted with this breakdown of everything Madeline has been up to since leaving Eastenders.

Who is Madeline Duggan?

Madeline Duggan is an actor best known her stint on Eastenders. Madeline first got into acting in 2003, playing Little Cosette in a production of Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre in the West End. Eastenders was her first role in TV.

Since leaving Eastenders she had roles in TV shows such as The Tunnel and Silent Witness, but ultimately didn't see the same success as some of her other costars.

Who was Madeline Duggan on Eastenders?

Madeline played Lauren Branning on Eastenders. She was the first of two actors to play the role and was part of the cast from 2006 to 2010. She was replaced by Jacqueline Jossa who left in 2018 after Lauren was written out of the show.

Lauren Branning was the daughter of Max Branning and Tanya Branning and was a mainstay on the show during her time as part of the cast.

Madeline Duggan
©Getty Images

What happened to Lauren Branning on Eastenders?

"What didn't happen to Lauren Branning on Eastenders?" would be a better question to ask. The poor girl went through A LOT, even during Madeline's time playing her. Madeline played Lauren when she was first introduced to Albert Square, rocking up with her mum, dad and younger sister, Abi Branning, in 2006.

The following year Lauren found out her dad was cheating on her mum with her half-brother Bradley Branning's fiancée, Stacey Slater. When she revealed this discovery her parent's marriage broke down (oof).

Another of her main storylines during her time on the show was her relationship with Peter Beale, played by Thomas Law. Her dad was initially disapproving of their relationship, even strangling Peter. In response to this Lauren ran her dad over with a car, leaving him in a coma.

Madeline Duggan and Thomas Law
©Getty Images

Whilst her mum initially took the wrap and was sent to prison for attempted murder, Lauren confessed and was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and was sentenced to two years under supervision.

Her dad eventually came round to her relationship with Peter after Peter expressed his love for Lauren, and Lauren and Peter we able to pursue a relationship.

This relationship comes to an end after Peter lies to his friends about having sex with her and despite the pair reconciling, it comes to an end again after Lauren and her family are forced to leave Albert Square once the extent of her dad's debts are revealed and they are forced to leave the East end.

During her sixteenth birthday celebration at a nightclub, her uncle Jack Branning is shot by Kylie (damn, the girl just can't catch a break). Madeline's stint as Lauren came to the end when she went to spend the summer at a summer camp in the United States.

How old is Madeline Duggan?

Madeline was born on 28th June 1994 meaning she is currently 27-years-old.

Check out what other child soap stars are up to now:


Child Soap Stars - Where Are They Now?

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Molly Conlin AKA Dotty Cotton, EastEnders

Molly played Nasty Nick's daughter Dotty Cotton in EastEnders between 2008-10 and caused endless mischief with Tiffany Butcher. But where is she now...

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CREDIT: Twitter/ Molly Conlin

Molly Conlin AKA Dotty Cotton, EastEnders

... 19-year-old Molly has since gone to college after deciding to concentrate on her studies. After leaving the soap, the actress starred in Annabel's Kitchen, Horrible Histories and Blandings as well as adverts for Ragu Pasta Sauce and Bold 2 In 1. She can now be seen posting glam photos on Instagram.

Helen Flanagan (Rosie Webster)3 of 22

Helen Flanagan AKA Rosie Webster, Coronation Street

Corrie's bad girl had some meaty storylines including being kidnapped (twice!) and dealing with her mother's breast cancer diagnosis. Helen left the soap in 2011, but what has she been up to since?

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Helen Flanagan

Helen Flanagan AKA Rosie Webster, Coronation Street

Nine years since leaving the soap, the actress has appeared in I'm a Celeb, Celebrity Super Spa, Celebrity Wedding Planner and Holby City. She now has two daughters with her fiancé Scott Sinclair. So adorbs.

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Melissa Suffield AKA Lucy Beale, EastEnders

Before Hetti Bywater, The Square's tearaway Lucy Beale was played by Melissa Suffield. But where is Mel now...

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Melissa Suffield

Melissa Suffield AKA Lucy Beale, EastEnders

...since leaving Walford, Melissa has evolved as an actress and has since starred in Casualty and played the role of Norma Jean in a musical about Marilyn Monroe. She's also engaged to long-term partner Robert Brendan and they've welcomed their daughter River into the world.

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CREDIT: Channel 4

Ellis Hollins AKA Tom Cunningham, Hollyoaks

Ellis Hollins has played Hollyoak's Tom Cunningham since he was just three years old and his storylines have gripped us all, from dealing with his mother's shock death to dealings with Sienna Blake... But where is Tom now?

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Ellis Hollins AKA Tom Cunningham, Hollyoaks

Seventeen ears later, Ellis is still in Hollyoaks (as lovable as ever) and was even spotted in Ibiza partying. Oh and he's won eight soap awards.

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Sam Aston AKA Chesney Brown, Coronation Street

Sam Aston played the adorable Corrie's Chesney Brown since 2003. Speaking about life growing up on a popular soap, he said "At 16, all my mates were getting fake IDs and going to pubs I always knew I couldn't do that." But where is Sam Aston now?

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Sam Aston AKA Chesney Brown, Coronation Street

Sam is engaged to his girlfriend Briony Gardner. The star had previously said 'I do think I'm romantic. I like to treat my girlfriend, buy her flowers and make a fuss of her.' They're also due to welcome their first child into the world later this year.

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Eden Taylor-Draper AKA Belle Dingle, Emmerdale

Eden Taylor-Draper has played Belle Dingle since 2005, when she fell down a mineshaft on Christmas day. Speaking about being a child actor she said at the time, "there is no time to go off the rails like Belle, I go home and learn my lines and I am in bed by 9pm!" Where is Eden now?

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Eden Taylor-Draper AKA Belle Dingle, Emmerdale

Eden is still in Emmerdale and recently was involved in a storyline where she's had an affair with married man Jamie Tate. Uh oh.

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Charlie Jones AKA Ben Mitchell, EastEnders

'Enders troublemaker Ben Mitchell has been played by a handful of actors, but we'll never forget the sweet Charlie Jones who was tormented by the evil Stella. Where is Charlie now?

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Charlie Jones AKA Ben Mitchell, EastEnders

Charlie is now studying acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts – he looks COMPLETELY different to his Walford days.

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Charlie Clements AKA Bradley Branning, EastEnders

Albert Square's favourite ginge (apart from his onscreen dad Max, obv) Bradley, was a knitted jumper-wearing sweetheart and made us want to pinch his cheeks through the television between 2006 - 2010. We are still getting over his tragic fall, where he saw his grizzly end. Where is Charlie now?

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CREDIT: Twitter/ Charlie Clements

Charlie Clements AKA Bradley Branning, EastEnders

We hardly recognise Charlie Clements with a beard! The actor uploaded the snap to Twitter with the caption. "A year ago everyone was up in arms because I looked SO different at 28 to 18.. bet they didn't expect this at 29! #actor 'chameleon'", He has since starred as Charlie Brackenreid in Murdoch Mysteries.

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CREDIT: Channel 4/Lime Pictures

Sonny Flood AKA Josh Ashworth, Hollyoaks

Of course you remember Hollyoak's rather swishy-haired Josh Ashworth. His character was best known for dating Amy Barnes and an array of outlandish storylines including attempted murder, underage sex, drugs, drinking and joy riding. Where is Sonny now?

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Sonny Flood

Sonny Flood AKA Josh Ashworth, Hollyoaks

Sonny has since completed a law degree at the University of Manchester, working as a paralegal. Miles away from underage drinking a pint at The Dog, eh.

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Maisie Smith AKA Tiffany Butcher, EastEnders

When Maisie first joined the cast of EastEnders back in 2008, she was only seven-years-old but she'd already had a small part in Hollywood film The Other Boleyn Girl. After leaving the soap in 2014 to pursue a music career, the 12 year old took to posting her singing videos online.

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Maisie Smith AKA Tiffany Butcher, EastEnders

Despite releasing a single in 2016, Walford is where Maisie's heart is at, and she returned to the soap full-time in 2017. She's now a TikTok star and we're obsessed with all her videos.

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CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock

Amy and Emily Walton AKA Bethany Platt, Coronation Street

Little Bethany Platt had a traumatic life during her short years on the soap initially before her exit in 2007. But did you know she was actually played by twins, Amy and Emily Walton?

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CREDIT: Instagram

Amy and Emily Walton AKA Bethany Platt, Coronation Street

Amy and Emily, now 17, haven't really explored the world of acting more since they left the show, and are now concentrating on studying.

Will Madeline Duggan return to Eastenders?

It seems unlikely that she would return to the show, but the potential for Lauren to return from New Zealand is open.

In 2020 Madeline revealed on Twitter that she had come to terms with being replaced by Jacqueline Jossa. She said: “I was very young and it give (sic) me options to do other things and get an American agent and enjoy some teenage life without being on screen lol worked out for the best.”

It seems from this that whilst she bears no ill feelings towards the producers for replacing her, she doesn't want to return to the show anytime soon.

What is Madeline Duggan up to now?

Madeline revealed in a tweet in 2020 that she had started working part-time in a doctor's surgery as "being an out of work actress doesn't pay". In the Tweet she used her platform to persuade people to go to hospital if they needed to in spite of their concerns due to COVID-19.

Read More

Child soap stars: from Dotty Cotton to Bradley Branning - where are they now?

EastEnders: Maisie Smith returns three months after quitting BBC soap

Thomas Law: EastEnders' Peter Beale is a musician now and it's mind-blowing

It's incredible that she used her platform to promote this message and commendable that she worked in healthcare during the pandemic. Even though she may not be seeing the same fame as she once did, it is great to see she is able to do rewarding work and use her platform for good.

Later in 2020 Madeline collaborated with celebs such as Frank Bruno and X Factor winner Sam Bailey to form a musical supergroup called The Celebs. They raised money for Alzheimer's Society and Action for Children during the pandemic. They released a cover of Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin' Stevens which reached number 2 on the iTunes pop chart.

Does Madeline Duggan have Instagram?

She does - you can follow her @madelinedugganxx.

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