Here’s your full guide to all the big drama on EastEnders this festive season:
1. Max returns
Max Branning will be back on Christmas Day, but is he planning to serve revenge for dinner? The Beales were responsible for Max’s incarceration for killing Lucy, even though they knew full well that it was Bobby who committed the crime. So expect Max’s return to cause friction in the Square as loyalties and motives are questioned. And how will daughters Lauren and Abi react to their dad’s homecoming?
2. Lee reaches breaking point
With both his debts and the secrets he’s holding continuing to mount, it looks like Lee will be facing a very desperate festive season. Christmas Day sees Lee struggling with his burden – but will he finally confront the consequences of his actions? All we can say is that by the end of Christmas week, Lee finds himself in an impossible situation: is the truth about to come out?
3. Phil’s last Christmas?
Unexpectedly tender scenes will play out on Friday 23 December when Phil has a heart to heart with Dot in the launderette. She tells him that he needs to carry on fighting, but Phil says that he’s had enough and deserves to die. By the 25th, with Phil’s health rapidly deteriorating, and time running out, the Mitchell family face the prospect that this Christmas could be Phil’s last…
4. Linda gets devastating news
In the run-up to the big day, Linda will be seen concentrating her efforts on getting a tree in the Square and prepping for the Walford Players show, but by Christmas Eve, she’ll have received devastating news. What is about to rock Linda’s world?
5. Will the Christmas play go ahead?
Put a date in your diary: the curtain goes up on the Christmas show on Thursday 22 December. The production may be a sell out – but will all go to plan on the opening night? Come on, this is soapland!
6. The launderette closes
It’s the end of an era as Dot prepares for her retirement party at the launderette. It’s been a staple part of life in Walford since 1985, so prepare to shed a tear on Christmas Eve as Dot closes up for the final time.
7. Martin fights Shakil
Bex will be seen confiding in Stacey about Shakil, but gets more than she bargained for when Stacey reveals all to Martin! Things then grow worse when a raging Martin then goes for Shkail in the market, leaving Bex humiliated. As everyone tries to calm Martin down, a fuming Stacey forces him to apologise to Bex but she refuses to talk to him. Is the relationship between father and daughter now permanently fractured?
8. Tensions rise for Denise
With Kim and Vincent on holiday, Denise is hoping for a peaceful Christmas with Libby and Patrick. But things don’t go to plan when Patrick reveals he’s invited Derek. And Denise later grows frustrated when she learns Kim has told their mum about the pregnancy…
9. Ronnie and Roxy fall out
Ronnie grows increasingly concerned about Roxy’s unpredictable behaviour and will try to heal the rift between her sister and Jack. But things don’t go well and Roxy ends up storming off. Ronnie’s hen party will also be the scene of some unexpected drama when both Roxy and Donna vie for Shrimpy’s attention. Yes, Shrimpy is finally getting a plotline of his very own!
10. The Carters share some magical news
The Carter family learns that Ollie’s assessment will be in the new year. Wanting to help Linda, Whitney invites the family over for Christmas Dinner, but Lee panics when he sees how much everything will cost. However, as the residents embrace the Christmas spirit, the Carters share some magical news.
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.