Conflicted Abi Branning looks set to be further manipulated by Babe Smith in the wake of the revelation that she’s not really pregnant.
Abi – with the help of Babe – has hoodwinked Ben into believing that she’s expecting his baby, but a twist in next week’s episodes will threaten to pull the plan apart.
When Ben drops the bombshell that he was contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it seems that he must now abstain from sleeping from Abi. But where does this Abi’s scheme to get properly pregnant fast?
“Abi’s dream is to have that family unit which she never had as a child. Husband, child, a house – the perfect family,” says actress Lorna Fitzgerald. “But she now has this inner battle that totally goes against her character. She wonders if she can actually go through with the plan, so expect lots of anxious acting.”
Viewers can also expect to see Babe make a shocking suggestion to Abi that will send the storyline off in a previously unforeseen direction. But does Abi fully understand what she’s doing by getting in deep with the cunning Babe?
“Well, Abi can be easily manipulated by characters who are stronger than her, so she is vulnerable. But I love working with Annette Badland [who plays Babe] and I really like the pair’s friendship.”
And, of course, there’s also the potential fallout for Abi and Ben’s relationship, which – even at the best of times – is hanging by a thread. Before the pregnancy curveball, Ben was intending to dump Abi to be with Paul Coker. So is Abi worried about how Ben will react if he finds out she’s been faking?
“Yes, she’s definitely worried,” admits Fitzgerald. “She went along with Babe’s idea and only later realised the repercussions. Abi now realises that she has to get pregnant. It’s the only thing that will make her dream come true. She’s very scared because she knows that Ben doesn’t want to be with her anyway.”
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
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