TV & Movies

EastEnders' Branning child star has changed so much since 2008

Actress Mia McKenna-Bruce has changed a lot since the last time she was on our screens in EastEnders.

The star portrayed Penny Branning on the BBC One soap, daughter of mainstay Jack (Scott Maslen), when she was just 11 years old.

She appeared in a total of five episodes of the serial drama back in 2008, several of which are currently available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Mia, now 24, has gone on to appear in numerous telly series, such as Holby City, where she played two different characters.

In 2008, she portrayed a character named Abi Taylor. Her second appearance on the medical drama came nine years later, when she popped up as Asia Lucas in 2017.

Mia has also featured in popular Netflix drama The Witcher, which stars Superman actor Henry Cavill, as well as Sheridan Smith-led drama Cleaning Up.

The actress’ biggest role is perhaps that of Tee Taylor in The Dumping Ground, a spin-off of legendary series The Story of Tracy Beaker.

She played Tee for five years, between 2013 and 2018. In 2020, she starred in BBC/Netflix series Get Even.

When she’s not busy acting, Mia keeps fans updated on Instagram, posting photos and selfies!

EastEnders’ Penny, meanwhile, has yet to re-appear in Albert Square following her on-screen departure in 2008, but she has been referenced several times, with Jack telling Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) in 2010 that his daughter is better off without him.

Jack later moved to France in 2013 in the hopes of reconnecting with Penny.

He soon returned to Walford on a permanent basis, and in 2016, he was seen speaking to Penny on the phone. Penny told him that she couldn’t attend his wedding to Ronnie, due to a doctor’s appointment.

Viewers will know that the wedding in question ended in tragedy, when Ronnie and sister Roxy (Rita Simons) were controversially killed off.

We’re still not over it, to be honest.

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