'EastEnders' character Lauren Branning has fled to New Zealand since departing Albert Square.

Jacqueline Jossa

Jacqueline Jossa

The former Walford resident - played by Jacqueline Jossa - was last seen hobbling away from her sister Abi Branning's (Lorna Fitzgerald) funeral on a crutch with her son Louie, and her dad Max Branning (Jake Wood) has now revealed she is halfway around the world.

In last night's (10.07.18) episode of the BBC One soap, Max said: "Lauren's in New Zealand. [Baby] Abi's all I got left."

Lauren's gran Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell) confirmed Lauren is now in New Zealand, saying she is "doing fine" and that "New Zealand clearly agrees with her".

The scant detail about Lauren's whereabouts have now led to speculation that she has reconciled with Peter Beale, who was played by Ben Hardy.

Lauren's final scene saw her walking away from boyfriend Josh Hemmings (Eddie Eyre) to start a new life with little Louie, who is Peter's son.

Jacqueline was last seen on screen in February, and the 25-year-old actress admitted after her exit that she had a "big plan" to leave the soap and "smash" other roles, before finding out she was pregnant.

She said: "This baby wasn't planned, so it was a shock just as I left the show.

"Instead of following my big plan of leaving and smashing it work-wise, I'm on a break instead."

Jacqueline welcomed her second child, daughter Mia, with partner Dan Osborne late last month.

The 'Only Way is Essex' star - who also has three-year-old daughter Ella with the soap star - wrote: "2/3 of my ABSOLUTE WORLD!! Welcome to the world Mia Osborne another little princess Jacqueline did amazing, she is doing fine and baby is perfect 25.06.2018 [sic]"