EastEnders Christmas 2016 storylines revealed!

Max is back, Phil's condition worsens, plus Lee is at breaking point

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Max Branning will return to EastEnders this Christmas – and it looks as though he’ll have revenge in mind!

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Barring a fleeting appearance back in July, Max (Jake Wood) hasn’t been seen on the BBC1 soap since he was sent down for the murder of Lucy Beale.

Now, the Beales and Brannings’ festive season will take a surprising turn when Max makes a comeback. But where has he been? What has drawn him back to Walford? And will he be serving up vengeance on those that made him take the rap for Bobby Beale’s crimes.

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Other key storylines on the BBC1 soap include the continuing plight of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), whose health will be seen rapidly deteriorating thanks to his liver cirrhosis. Will this Christmas be his last?

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Finally, Lee’s (Danny-Boy Hatchard) mental health gives cause for concern as he struggles with the burden of carrying too many secrets. Viewers have already seen Lee lie to wife Whitney about his job while also buckling under an onslaught of workplace bullying.

So will Lee finally confront the consequences of his actions? Or will his guilty conscience finally push him over the edge?

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You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.

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