Wow, deep breath, EastEnders fans...


It has been a dramatic journey in 2023 with hard-hitting storylines including the tragic loss of Lola Pearce-Brown (Danielle Harold), the HIV journey of Zack Hudson (James Farrar) who also faced the heartbreaking loss of baby Peach with Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), and the pregnancy of 12-year-old Lily Slater (Lillia Turner).

If that wasn't enough, fans have also been treated to a steamy affair for Denise Fox (Diane Parish), Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) turning to online sex work, a secret wife for Rocky Cotton (Brian Conley), and the unexpected reappearance of the late Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons).

Yet, viewers really went wild following that epic Christmas flash-forward to a death in the Queen Vic with six of Walford's most prominent ladies, before fans were treated to the epic comeback of soap villainess Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) and Walford stalwart Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt).

Now, as we look towards the rest of the summer, the acclaimed executive producer Chris Clenshaw has teased and other press about what lies ahead.

EastEnders 2023 summer preview: 5 spoilers from Chris Clenshaw

1. Theo Hawthorne's secret intentions

William Ellis as Theo Hawthorne in EastEnders.
William Ellis as Theo Hawthorne in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Fans already have their theories about why Freddie's former teacher Theo Hawthorne (William Ellis) is hanging around Walford like a bad smell, taking a particular interest in Lily Slater.

Yet, despite the concerns of Lily's dad Martin Fowler (James Bye), it seems Stacey Slater believes he is a stand-up guy. Is Stacey wrong to trust Theo?

Executive producer Chris Clenshaw teased: "So we've got a big Slater summer with Theo and what his true intentions are... which will be revealed."

Could some fans be correct and could Theo be more interested in Stacey out of all the Slaters?

2. Freddie Slater learns his true paternity

Bobby Brazier as Freddie Slater and Gillian Wright as Jean Slater in EastEnders.
Bobby Brazier as Freddie Slater in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

When Little Mo Slater's son Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) first arrived in Walford last year, he was keen to get to know Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), the man he believed was his father.

However, it soon became clear to Freddie that despite Billy being his mum's ex-husband and who she told him was his father, this was not the case.

Unbeknownst to Freddie, his biological father is a vile rapist named Graham Foster (played by Alex McSweeney), who raped Little Mo (Kacey Ainsworth) in 2003 and was later jailed for his crime in 2004.

After revealing that he was not Freddie's biological father to the teen, Billy maintained that it was Little Mo's choice of whether she should tell Freddie.

Now, Chris Clenshaw has revealed: "Freddie will finally find out the truth about his dad."

How will Freddie take this incredibly difficult news? And could we see a surprise return from Kacey Ainsworth as Little Mo?

3. Alfie Moon faces a dark storyline

Shane Richie as Alfie Moon in EastEnders.
Shane Richie as Alfie Moon in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Ever since returning to Walford last summer, Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) has not had the easiest time. Despite reuniting with his children, Alfie failed to win back his beloved ex-wife Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and she remains engaged to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

Yet, Alfie did have his friendship with Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) and his job at the Queen Vic pub to rely on – until Linda's mother and new co-landlady Elaine Peacock (Harriet Thorpe) forced her to sack Alfie right after he had moved out of the Slaters' house and into a new flat.

"There's gonna be quite a tough road ahead for Alfie," revealed Chris Clenshaw of this summer's storyline.

Will Alfie face a struggle to bring in a household income amid the dire cost of living crisis, or could it be something even more difficult for the 'Man in the Moon'?

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4. Kathy Beale and Rocky Cotton's dramatic wedding - with surprise guest

Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale and Brian Conley as Rocky Cotton in EastEnders.
Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale and Brian Conley as Rocky Cotton in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

It has been a long time coming but Walford icon Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) looks finally set to tie the knot to her former con artist fiancé Thomas "Rocky" Cotton, after he finally appeared to divorce his bitter ex-wife Jo Cotton (Vicki Michelle).

Kathy has also been keen to invite her son Ian Beale to the wedding despite having not seen him since he left Walford in January 2021.

Yet, unbeknownst to the Beale matriarch, her son is living in France with his presumed dead ex-wife and Kathy's old nemesis Cindy Beale, along with Kathy's estranged grandson Peter Beale (now played again by Thomas Law).

Speaking of the upcoming wedding, Chris Clenshaw teased: "We've got Rocky and Kathy's nuptials, which has an unexpected guest arrive."

Could Ian be about to make a comeback for Kathy's wedding, or could Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell) have persuaded Peter to return?

Alternatively, has Jo Cotton got a nasty surprise up her sleeve after it was teased that she had a blackmail plot in mind?

We'll have to wait and see if Kathy will become the next Mrs Cotton!

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Amber cufflinks in EastEnders
Who's wearing the amber cufflinks in EastEnders?

However, the executive producer also revealed that the surprise guest is not all that viewers should look out for at Kathy and Rocky's wedding.

Clenshaw also confirmed: "Watch out for the cufflinks around those episodes. So keep your eyes peeled."

Fans will recall the electric Christmas flash-forward that occurred in February which depicted six women standing around a dead man's body on the floor – and one of the few clues we had were the amber cufflinks on his suit.

Nish Panesar actor Navin Chowdhry also recently teased filming something connected to the cufflinks too.

It seems we will finally have a clue of their connection to the death this summer...

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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.

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