EastEnders 2021 preview: 12 spoilers for the year ahead
Producer Jon Sen teases the next 12 months in Walford.
Shock revelations, unexpected romance, a murder and some blasts from the past made for an eventful Christmas in EastEnders, paving the way for an epic 2021.
As Sharon Beale (Letitia Dean) continues to target Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) to get justice for her son's death, Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) faces his demons and Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith) now has two murders to cover up.
Producer Jon Sen gives RadioTimes.com his top 12 storyline teasers, previewing what's in store over the next 12 months in Albert Square.
Sharon ramps up her revenge on Ian
After weeks of fan theories and red herrings, the truth about Ian's attack is now out. Sharon must face up to the consequences of her actions - but that's not the end of the story. "The big moment from Christmas was Sharon's deathly scheming against Ian after she masterminded the attack with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) that didn't quite go to plan. Sharon isn't about to let Ian off the hook that quickly, her poisonous plotting is just getting started and she wants to avenge Denny's death once and for all."
Surprise comeback brings hope for Mick
The Carters try to rebuild after the emotional events over New Year, which won't be easy with Mick's abuser Katy Lewis (Simone Lahbib) still trying to manipulate him. "Now Mick has finally faced his demons, his confrontation with Katy will change everything - but has he left it too late to save his marriage to Linda (Kellie Bright)? Katy will do anything in her power to stop the truth from coming out. A reappearance of a familiar face on the Square helps Mick to connect to his new truth…"
Gray covers up Tina's murder
Mick may be trying to rebuild his marriage, but he has no idea his beloved sister Tina isn't on the run - Gray has killed her. Will Walford's newest multiple murderer's latest crime be uncovered before he claims another victim? "Everybody's asking when Gray will get his comeuppance. The soap gods never forgive things like this and we need to see Gray pay, but I'm going to keep when that happens close to my chest!"
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Chaos for Tiff and Keegan
They wisely backed out of the surrogacy deal with the Highways, so what next for young couple Tiff Butcher-Baker (Maisie Smith) and Keegan Butcher-Baker (Zack Morris)? "They're still going strong, albeit penniless, and we're looking forward to seeing what happens when they move into No.25 with Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) and the chaos that ensues."
Ruby caught in her web of lies
After the twists and turns of her festive baby bombshell, Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) backs down in her quest for revenge which causes her to get caught up in her own complicated web of deceit which could push new hubby Martin Fowler (James Bye) away. "We've got some brilliant stories coming up for Ruby - and Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner)…"
Goodbye Stacey - for now
Talking of Stace, her rivalry with former BFF Rubes sees the pair at odds as 2021 kicks off. However, with Turner expecting her second child in February the actress will be heading off on maternity leave soon, so how will Stace be temporarily written out of the show? Could it have something to do with another impending departure…?
Max's big exit
Jake Wood shot his last scenes just before Christmas, so his alter ego Max Branning should be on screen until February - and even though it's been confirmed the door will be left open, it's going to be a suitably epic exit. "After 15 years we say goodbye to Max and it's safe to say he'll go out in dramatic style." It's certainly possible him and old flame Stacey decide to run off together!
New love for Lola
One of those hot new couples Sen is excited about for 2021 involves Jay's ex, who is moving on with another local. "There is love on the horizon for Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) and Isaac Baptiste (Stevie Basaula)…" Will lovely Lo finally find the one after disastrous dalliances with Jay and Peter Beale (Dayle Hudson)?
Jay and Honey's hook up causes heartache
Viewers saw it coming, but Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) and Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) finally gave into their feelings over Christmas - though loyalty to Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) prevented things from progressing. How long can the pair resist each other? Not for long, as it turns out. "We will continue to see how Billy suffers with Jay and Honey. In fact there are a few surprising romantic pairings I'm looking forward to seeing blossom."
Ballum under pressure
Conflicted Callum Highway (Tony Clay) faces another test of loyalties this coming year, as the double grass is torn between his boyfriend and the boys in blue. Things are bound to come to a head sooner rather than later… "We have the ongoing story of Callum and his duplicity in having gone undercover against Phil, all the while Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) is none the wiser and only falling deeper in love."
Lucas makes his presence felt
Denise Fox (Diane Parish) was rattled by the return of murderous ex-husband Lucas Johnson (Don Gilet), newly-released from prison, and was even more stunned daughter Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams) appears to have forgiven her father's crimes. "Denise feels a huge sense of betrayal from Chelsea that fractures the family. There's much more to play with this story as the real aftermath of Lucas being back comes to bear on Denise's life with Raymond."
Kheerat forms an alliance
The Panesars, led by menacing matriarch Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal), have proved they were a force to be reckoned with and take centre stage in 2021. "There is some really great stuff ahead for the family as we see Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) team up with an unlikely family on the Square."
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