Jacqueline Jossa: 'Marriages have ups and downs and mine's no different'

23rd May 18 | Lifestyle

The actress opens up to Gabrielle Fagan about her relationship with former Towie star Dan Osborne.

National Television Awards 2015 - Arrivals - London

Jacqueline Jossa joined EastEnders seven years ago as the rebellious teenager Lauren Branning, who made a dramatic exit in February to find a new life away from Albert Square.

Talented and glamorous, the pregnant 25-year-old has won several awards over the years, but it’s her rocky personal life off-screen that’s recently been creating headlines.

According to reports, she and her ex-Towie star husband Dan Osborne, have split up after 10 months of marriage. The couple began dating in 2014 and married in June last year, but Osborne recently declared that “life’s too short” to stay in an unhappy relationship, in a recent interview with The Star On Sunday.

At the time of the interview, Jossa remained hopeful they’d stay on good terms, saying: “These things happen – marriages have ups and downs and mine’s no different. He’ll be at the birth, of course. He’s an amazing dad.”

The couple have a three-year-old daughter, Ella, and are expecting their second baby in weeks. Here, Jossa opens up about how she’s coping, her pregnancy worries and how she wants to inspire her daughter.

How have you dealt with the stress of the last few months?

“I’m pretty good at not getting stressed. All my friends say, ‘You just bottle it up’, but I actually don’t. Maybe I’ve just got a really thick skin, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I just get on with things and stay calm.

“Being pregnant helps, because you have a new lease of life – you’re doing everything for your baby. Life’s about doing the best for your children.”

What has this pregnancy been like for you?

A pregnant Jacqueline Jossa
(Claire Harrison/Pampers/ThankYouMidwife/PA)

“My first pregnancy was so straightforward. This has been more difficult and I don’t think I could have gotten through it without the support and guidance of my midwife. I was very sick for the first three months, which is difficult when you’ve already got a demanding little one to take care of. I recently couldn’t feel the baby move, which was so scary. It was wonderful to get reassurance that everything was fine from the midwife.

“My mum sadly lost two babies through cot death before I was born, and although there’s no apparent hereditary link, it does make you a bit more nervous – but again, the midwives have been reassuring. I was actually shocked to learn that according to Pampers research, one in three midwives feel underappreciated and undervalued.

“After Ella was born, I was a bit edgy and constantly checking that she was breathing because of our family history. I feel more confident the second time around.”

Do you miss EastEnders?

Jacqueline Jossa with (L) Jake Wood, who played her father Max Branning in Eastenders
Jake Wood, Jacqueline Jossa and Scott Maslen arriving for the 2012 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards (Ian West/PA)

“Of course, it was such a big part of my life. I had a wonderful time there – it’s where I grew up really, but I’m ready for a new challenge. You can’t stay doing one thing forever.

“This baby wasn’t planned, so it was a shock when I found out [I was pregnant] 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 Jossa holds her Newcomer award received at the National Television Awards 2012. (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Jacqueline Jossa holds her Newcomer award received at the National Television Awards 2012 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“It’s worked out nicely though, because I’ve really been able to embrace this time with Ella and prepare her for having a new member of the family.

“Sometimes it was hard, when I was in working, because there were periods where a week would go by and I wouldn’t have seen her at all. I’d leave the house at 6am and not get back until 8pm. Daniel or my mum were looking after her, but I’d feel sad, thinking, ‘I don’t know what she’s been doing, saying or learning’. I’ll definitely go back to work though, after the baby.”

What sort of role model do you want to be for your daughter Ella?


I’m sure lots of you agree we’re obsessed with our kids and nothing beats being with them but parents getting time to ourselves and each other is so important too! Especially when we have to be packed and organised for our little holiday and I just don’t have enough hands. Finding the right childcare we trust can be really tricky though and I know what we all look for can differ. I like @bubblebabysittingapp because I can see the sitter’s reviews from other local parents and the friends we have in common – it helps us get that personal recommendation from people I trust. All sitters have also gone through a Background & ID check and if you find one that’s right for you – you can book and pay them all through the app. You can use it to have a social life again or I know lots of Mummies also use it whilst they’re at home, just to get give themselves a minute sometimes. If you want to check it out they’ve given me a code which you can use to get £10 off your first sit. [JACQxBUBBLE]. #ad

A post shared by Jacqueline Osborne (@jacjossa) on

“I want to be someone she can look up to – a strong, independent woman who’s made a life for themselves. I’d love her to see me as someone she’s proud of, working and doing what I love.

“Since I’ve had her, I don’t wear make-up at home. I only wear it now when I’m going out and want to look good. That’s only happened because she asked me one day why I wore it. I didn’t want to say, ‘To make myself look better because I look disgusting’, because she thinks I look beautiful anyway. I want her to grow up thinking she’s naturally beautiful.


As a mother I barely have time to put make up on or wear a cute outfit without rushing here there and everywhere and I wouldn’t have it any other way.. this is me, poorly, sleepy, pregnant and make up free this morning!! I took a photo because me and Ella were having a cute moment reading a book together and then looked at the photo and thought holy moly poor me ahha!! One of them ones where you feel even more unwell cos you look so bad😂😂 but I like the fact I can post and make others feel better to let people realise that we all feel ugly and low sometimes! Let’s still take photos and memory’s we will keep forever 💜 hopefully I look a bit more presentable tomorrow😂 sorry Guys!! Me and my darling love a cuddle in the morning 💞🤗

A post shared by Jacqueline Osborne (@jacjossa) on

“The only trouble is I get papped all the time and if I’m not wearing any make-up, social media is full of comments like, ‘Oh she looks so tired’ or, ‘She must be going through so much’.

“The real truth is that I’ve just pulled on my clothes and run out of the house to do the school run! But you have to take social media with a pinch of salt and have a strong backbone. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house and I’d have had plastic surgery by now, because I’d be so insecure.

“In reality, I’m living a real life with all of the ups and downs everybody else has.”

Do you know the sex of the baby?


I love the summer and I actually don’t mind the winter, it’s the in between I don’t love so much! This summer I have so much to look forward too! My 2 best friends slash cousins are both getting married!💞 I couldn’t be happier for them both. @sarahelizabeth_a @ciarasherwood 🤭❤️💁🏼‍♀️Also our last member of this family will be here!! Ready to meet there older brother and sister!! I can’t wait to meet you now baby🙊 I also have a lovely 2 week holiday slung in there too which is always nice and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had the time for that!! There are so many things I want to achieve after the summer and have such a buzz now I am so excited to start working on some new stuff and hopefully get some great parts🤞get back to what I love doing! My mind is constantly working on what’s next and I am just so excited for it all. I feel ALIVE right now! Inspired and ready to go!

A post shared by Jacqueline Osborne (@jacjossa) on

“Yes I do, and we’re keeping it a secret… but I told Ella by accident. That was a terrible move, because I don’t want to teach her to lie and keep secrets. Honesty is so important to me, so all I could say to her was, ‘Please don’t talk about it’.

“Of course, that means she’s told everybody at school – the teachers and the kids!”

How do you look after your health and wellbeing?

Jacqueline Jossa at the British Soap Awards 2017. (Matt Crossick/PA)
Jacqueline Jossa at the British Soap Awards 2017 (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I’m not into exercise really, but I do loads of walking and running after Ella. My bath’s my calm place and, although it sounds crazy, I talk to myself there.

“I’ll talk through my day and, if I’m angry, I’ll play out an argument or conversation in my head, which releases all the pent-up anger that I don’t need and I feel better. It’s my little form of daily therapy.

“I actually had therapy when I was on EastEnders – not because I had any issues – but because I was so young when I started working there. It’s part of the way they look after you while you’re on the series.

“It helps you deal with the fact that your life completely changes when you’re on such a big show, and you can sort out any problems you’re having generally, with someone non-judgemental.

“I think, all too often, we go to the doctors if we hurt ourselves physically, but we don’t look after our brains or our hearts that much. Everyone should have therapy – I’ll probably have it after I’ve had the baby.”

Jacqueline Jossa, ambassador for Pampers #ThankYouMidwife campaign (Claire Harrison/Pampers/PA)
Jacqueline Jossa, ambassador for Pampers #ThankYouMidwife campaign (Claire Harrison/Pampers/PA)

Jacqueline Jossa is an ambassador for Pampers supporting their #ThankYouMidwife campaign, which asks members of the public to thank their midwives. For every thank you shared on social media, Pampers will donate £1 to support midwives in need. 

© Press Association 2018