EastEnders‘ Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) will be at the centre of a big new storyline this autumn tackling alcohol addiction, the soap has announced.
The much-loved landlady of the Queen Vic develops a drinking problem as she finds herself turning to booze as part of her attempt to put on a brave face to cope with recent family dramas – including her cancer scare, husband Mick Carter’s (Danny Dyer) panic attacks and son Ollie’s suspected autism.
Linda’s reliance on alcohol soon manifests into something she will struggle to hide from her family and friends.
EastEnders is working with Drinkaware, an education charity who provide advice and raise awareness on the misuse of alcohol, in what the show’s Executive Producer Jon Sen refers to as: “One of the Carters’ biggest crises to date. Linda turns to alcohol to escape the increasing pressures of her family life.
“Her descent into alcoholism will be instantly recognisable to many – a journey that begins with a single drink to cope with everyday ups and downs, but quickly escalates to a point which wreaks devastation on their life and the lives of those around them.
“In telling Linda’s story we hope that anyone in her situation or those around them notice the signs of alcoholism and seek the help needed.”
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Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, adds: “Working with EastEnders on this storyline puts a spotlight on the potentially harmful result of getting in to the habit of drinking regularly. Credit to the scriptwriters who are sensitively showing how easy it can be for someone to develop risky drinking habits.
“It might surprise you to know you don’t have to be drinking to extreme levels to become dependent on alcohol, and regularly drinking above recommended level can lead to a range of health conditions.
“Linda’s experiences with alcohol demonstrate why it’s important to be able to recognise signs that you, or someone you care about could be developing these habits that could cause harm to themselves or others.”
Subtle signs of the plot have already played out on screen, as Linda let her hair down and hit the bottle on Whitney Dean’s hen night in recent episodes, paving the way to explore her relationship with alcohol in the weeks to come.
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