Jo Joyner taking break from EastEnders

The 34-year-old actress who plays cancer survivor Tanya Branning in the BBC One soap - has decided she wants some time away from the show when her contract expires next year.

Jo has three-year-old twins, daughter Edie and son Freddie, with her actor husband Neil Madden and she wants to spend some quality time without worrying about her hectic filming schedule. 

According to the Daily Star newspaper, Jo told a friend: ''It's been pretty full-on and the rest of the year is going to be even more dramatic because the Brannings have got some amazing stuff coming up. I want to spend some quality time with my family so it's time for a break.''

However, Jo will not be leaving Albert Square for good and has agreed to return to Walford after her hiatus.

An 'EastEnders' spokesman said: ''Jo will be taking a break from filming in 2013 but will definitely return.''

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