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EastEnders first pics: Lauren returns - then she has a baby! But where’s Peter?

A heavily pregnant Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa)  will be returning to Albert Square later this month and, shortly after that, there will be a new addition to the Branning family…

New arrivals in Albert Square usually mean trouble – but this one will melt people's hearts… It will be Lauren's baby boy, Louie.

EastEnders' Jane Beale holds baby Louie

Jane Beale holds Lauren's baby Louie (BBC)

After all the trauma of Lucy Beale's murder, Lauren went to New Zealand with her boyfriend, Lucy's twin Peter.

But Lauren makes a shock return after hearing her dad, Max (Jake Wood), is on trial for killing Lucy.

Lauren knows the truth about what happened that night and is desperate to see justice for her dad.

But before she can do anything her waters break and she barely makes it to hospital before she gives birth to baby Louie.

Jane (Laurie Brett), Carol (Lindsey Coulson) and Lauren's sister, Abi (Lorna Fitzgerald), are there to share the joy of the new arrival.

And, boy, do they all need something to smile about! Max's trial is tearing them all apart.

But how long will it be before Max gets to meet his grandson?

And where's Peter (Ben Hardy)? Did he and Lauren marry in New Zealand… Or is Lauren on her own now?

EastEnders' Lauren Branning and baby Louie

EastEnders’ Lauren Branning and baby Louie (BBC)

Jacqueline has been off-screen on maternity leave, following the birth to her daughter Ella in February.

Louie’s arrival will air on BBC1 in EastEnders, Thursday, September 17.