EastEnders: Christmas 2017 will “shape Albert Square for years to come”, says boss John Yorke

Read our exclusive preview of the festive drama in Walford

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EastEnders boss John Yorke has revealed that this year’s Christmas storylines are some of the most ambitious ever told in the soap’s history.

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Speaking to Radio Times, executive consultant Yorke said of the 2017 festive drama: “The really big story on Christmas Day, and one of the biggest stories we have ever told on EastEnders, will revolve around Max and how his past actions all come back to haunt him in the most powerful and appalling way.”

The show boss also promised that the plot to bulldoze over such iconic Walford landmarks as the Queen Victoria pub will be exposed and that the conspirators – led by James Willmott-Brown – will pay the price for their actions:

“The Branning family and their wider clan will be at the heart of the drama, as all of those involved in the plot to buy up and build over Albert Square get their spectacular comeuppance.

“The story kicks off at the end of November and rapidly builds to a Christmas climax – with the events on Christmas Day laying down the shape of Albert Square for years to come.”

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John Yorke – who during his original time on EastEnders oversaw the Who Shot Phil? plotline as well as the death of Ethel Skinner – rejoined the soap in June following the departure of executive producer Sean O’Connor.

Since his arrival, he has signed Hollywood actor Patrick Bergin to play old-school villain Aidan Maguire and will re-introduce Tamzin Outhwaite as Mel Owen in early 2018.

In addition to the storyline featuring the Brannings, EastEnders will also put Danny Dyer in the spotlight as Mick risks his liberty in a bid to secure his family’s future. Added Yorke:

“Mick and Linda are desperate to save their home and marriage, and aren’t going down without a fight. Mick finds himself offered a lifeline by Aidan – but one with huge consequences that could leave Mick in greater trouble than he could ever imagine.”

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There was also the promise that the BBC1 soap would see a return to form as 2017 comes to a close: “There’s a lot of big drama, a lot of big heart and quite a few laughs besides.

“This Christmas is going to be a classic EastEnders Christmas – the time of year when EastEnders should be at its very best – and we can’t wait for people to see it.”

If you were in charge of the Christmas TV schedule, which soap would you show over and over and over again? 

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

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