The BBC has unveiled images which confirm that EastEnders hard man Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) will die over the Christmas/New Year period and that 2013 will begin with the character’s funeral. As can be seen, the shots also highlight the return of Bianca (Patsy Palmer) to the soap following a break during part of 2012.
Since arriving in E20 in 2011, Derek – the brother of Jack, Max and Carol - has established himself as a glowering, intimidating presence with his list of misdeeds including stealing from Lucy Beale and running both David Wicks and Anthony Moon off the Square.
Speculation has already been rife in the press as to how Derek will die. One of the most recent theories to emerge is that the villainous Branning sibling will be murdered by his brother Max. For the last few months, viewers have seen Derek harbouring a dark secret that Max is desperate to keep under wraps. However, the BBC has yet to confirm whether Derek’s death will be as the result of homicide.