Get ready for the start of a new soap whodunnit: yes, Lucy Beale - daughter of Walford stalwart Ian - is to meet her maker in scenes to be shown on Good Friday. But who is going to do the deed? And what impact will her murder have on the Beale family? Here, actress Hetti Bywater, who has played Lucy since 2012, tells us about her dramatic exit and how she feels about leaving the BBC1 soap:
So, what does it mean to you to have such a big exit storyline?
When it was announced it really did go everywhere! It’s such a big deal for viewers because not only has Lucy been in the show for 20 years, it’s also that the whole Beale clan is so iconic - and that's why it makes such a big impact.
Plus splitting twins up is so horrific. It's going to be a great story for the Beales and start a new dark chapter for them. That's what the focus is going to be on - it's not going to be so much about the death, it's going to be about afterwards. All the implications of it and everyone's journey. It's a bit scary and overwhelming, and the fact that it's going to go on for so long. I am ecstatic that I got given this opportunity because it’s amazing and challenging and great to be part of such a big storyline.
How do you think viewers will react when they see it on screens?
You see deaths on soaps quite a bit and often they tend to be older characters or they tend to have bad sides to them. What's so sad about this is that Lucy is having all these troubles and she's trying to build her life back up and get her stuff together, thinking this isn't how she's going to live her life and she's going to start a new chapter. And that’s when it all goes wrong.
So, in the run-up to her death, how is Lucy feeling about Max?
She's just a bit unsure about everything. She's got to a point in her life where she's having a bit of a breakdown and nothing is really certain in her head. She's just in a really muddled place with everything that is going on at the moment. She's following her instinct rather than figuring out what her true emotions are, which is why she is getting herself in more and more trouble.
She has a lot of problems with her Dad; it's almost as if Max is giving her that fatherly support. From Max's point of view, the fact it's a secret makes it more exciting but on Lucy's part. the excitement goes away very quickly. She doesn't know what her emotions are. The excitement goes when the guilt comes.