EastEnders Christmas 2017: the Brannings take centre stage – as writer Simon Ashdown returns

Max Branning's lies will be exposed in dramatic style

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Max Branning and his screen family will be at the centre of EastEnders’s 2017 Christmas Day drama with show bosses promising some of the “biggest moments” in the soap’s history.

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As viewers know, Max has been scheming in secret to ruin the lives of his supposed friends and neighbours, but his lies are set to be exposed in catastrophic style.

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Writer Simon Ashdown – who played a key role in creating the Branning family – has returned to pen both the special festive episodes and a Max-centric instalment to be broadcast in early December, with a show spokesperson telling RadioTimes.com today:

“Simon has written some of the Brannings’ most memorable moments, including the legendary 25th anniversary live episode and the reveal of Max and Stacey’s affair in 2007.

“Ten years later, the Brannings will once again be at the heart of the drama and it is set to be a classic EastEnders Christmas that will go down in Walford history.”

John Yorke, Executive Consultant, added: “I’m delighted to welcome one of EastEnders’ greatest writers back to the show.  Simon has delivered some of EastEnders’s biggest moments and I hope people will agree that his Christmas episodes are right up there with his very best work.”

It has already been reported that both Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning) and Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi Branning) are set to exit in the months ahead. So might their departures be tied to the Christmas mayhem?

Speaking recently about leaving EastEnders, Fitzgerald said: “It’s nice as actresses that Jacqueline and I are leaving together as you have someone to talk about it with and share the burden.”

You can watch our exclusive Week in Walford review show below. Beneath that, there’s a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on EastEnders

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And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.