Brannings At War

There is no love lost between Max Branning and his brother Jack in EastEnders and on the 24th April the brothers come to blows once more but this isn’t the first time the Branning family have been at war with eachother. Read more for ATV Soap’s lookback on the war of the Branning’s and a picture preview of the upcoming fight between Max and Jack…

There is no love lost between Max Branning and his brother Jack in
EastEnders and on the 24th April the brothers come to blows
once more but this isn’t the first time the Branning family have been
at war with eachother.
Brannings At War: The Roots

Back in 1993 the Jacksons arrived in Walford, a typical problem family headed up by tyrannical mother Carol formerly a Branning. The family consisted of Carol and her partner Alan Jackson and their children Bianca, Robbie, Sonia and Billy. They would later be joined by Alan’s grandmother Blossom. Billy was Alan’s only son but he’d taken on the rest of the family as his own. It soon became clear that Carol was estranged from her family as they were racist and did not approve of her relationship with Alan however, in 1996, Carol received an invitation to her sister April’s wedding and was torn on whether she could face her bigoted family once more. In the end Carol decided she would attend the wedding but by this point Alan’s nose had been put out of joint and he had decided he wouldn’t be attending the wedding with her and nor would their son Billy either. Unbeknownst to Carol, April and her Greek fiance Nikos were not the only couple who were supposed to be tying the knot on the day of the wedding as Alan had arranged a surprise wedding for him and Carol.

Carol attended the wedding with Bianca, Robbie and Sonia and there was the tension in the air between her, her brother and their father Jim from the start. At the church we discover that Nikos has stood April up but before the day ends up a complete washout who should pull up in a black cab but Alan, Blossom and Billy after all. Carol was thrilled to see them but disappointed for her sister that her wedding day had gone so wrong – that was until Alan revealed the surprise wedding he had planned for himself and Carol. Carol decided to go through with the wedding and marry Alan much to her father’s disapproval. Needless to say her father Jim didn’t stick around for the ceremony and when Carol’s brother Derek arrived at the church to discover his sister was marrying a black man his face was a picture.

Outside the church, all hell broke lose after Derek accused Carol of putting it about a bit – a completely unfouded accusation in front of her 4 kids each with a different father. Derek later turned up in Walford and attacked Alan but David Wicks came to the rescue. 3 years later, in 1999, Carol visited her father with her new fella Dan who was white but their relationship was still fraught when Jim couldn’t help but pass comment on this.

Carol went to war with daughter Bianca later that year after discovering Bianca had been sleeping with her new partner Dan. Bianca left Walford in disgrace heading for Manchester leaving mum Carol and hubby Ricky brokenhearted.
Branning’s At War: The Revival

Max Branning arrived in Walford in the summer of 2006 along with wife Tanya and daughters Abi and Lauren. He was on a mission to find the son he’d abandoned some 13 years earlier – that son was the already established popular character of Bradley who had turned up in Walford some months before to stay with his grandfather Jim. Max’s father is the once vocal racist Jim now married to resident busybody Dot Cotton and trying to turn over a new leaf but it was clear from the start there wasn’t much love lost between father and son – what exactly had gone on in Max’s childhood to make him hate Jim so

We didn’t have to wait long to find out it soon transpired that Jim had been abusive to Max as a child and had also abused Max’s mother – to recent discoverers of the programme this would’ve been a massive shock but to those who remember Jim’s early appearances in the soap it did
have a ring of truth to it. Max even revealed to his shocked wife Tanya in the spring of 2007 that his father had allowed him to be ‘buried’ alive in a coffin – something he would regret later when she used it for inspiration as revenge for him making sweet music with his future daughter in law Stacey Branning. Max was never able to truly forgive Jim and it was clear that Jim had developed an intense dislike towards Max. Jim had a stroke in the summer of 2007 and had to stay in a nursing home so the war between father and son for now became dormant.

Jack Branning breezed into Walford in October 2007 for the wedding of his nephew Bradley. Max wasn’t over the moon to see his younger, more succeessful and better looking brother again and became quite agitated at his reappearance. Things took a turn for the worse when after being dumped by wife Tanya for his affair with future daughter in law Stacey Max had to watch as Jack made a move on his wife and claimed his family for himself. Max grew more and more bitter and started thinking of ways to split Tanya and Jack up. Things came to a head on the 30th October 2008 when after trying to set Jack up for armed burgulary and failing Max was kidnapped by Jack and held at gunpoint. After a bitter confrontation, Jack let Max go and he returned to Walford. Later that evening, Max was mown down and almost killed in a hit and run. It later transpired that his own daughter Lauren had been behind the wheel of the car. Lauren’s desire to kill her father came from him ruining the family’s happiness and their bid to start a new life in France with Jack. She was also disgusted when she discovered her father had tried to split her and boyfriend Peter Beale up.

Tanya discovered what Lauren had done and decided to take the rap for her. She was arrested for attempted murder and was facing years inside. Lauren eventually came clean to Max at Tanya’s trial before revealing all to the police. Tanya was allowed to return to the bosom of her family or rather what was left at it while Lauren was charged with trying to murder her own father. Meanwhile, the relationship between Max and son Bradley has always been a frosty one after Max abandoned him as a child. Bradley eventually warmed to Max but all hell broke loose between them after Bradley discovered his dad had given his wife a good seeing to. Things have never been the same between them since.
Then there’s Suzy Branning who doesn’t give a jot for any of her family and is only out for number one.

On the 24th April Jack and Max come to blows once more when Max goads his brother in front of the Queen Vic regulars. Below are a couple of pictures from their fight:

Catch these scenes on Friday 24th April 8.00pm on BBC1 or Friday 24th April 10.00pm on BBC3 or on Sunday 26th April on BBC1.
Alternatively catch up online at the BBC iplayer by clicking here.