There have been few friendships in soapland that have been as strong in recent years as the one between pub landladies Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) and Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) in EastEnders.

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Since Linda arrived in late 2013, the bubbly musical-lover quickly struck up a frenemy-ship with camp icon Sharon, but this light rivalry soon evolved into a deep friendship.

Despite a brief blip in the regrettable “Who attacked Ian Beale?” storyline where a guilty Sharon and Phil let Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White) be blamed for a grievous attack on Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), Linda and Sharon stuck by each other through thick and thin.

In fact, when Linda hit her lowest ebbs as she plummeted into the depths of alcoholism – a sad process that Sharon knew all too well from her time with mother Angie Watts (Anita Dobson) – Sharon stood by her best friend through and even took her into her own home as she tried to support her in getting her life back on track, even when Linda’s choices remained regrettable.

Amid Linda’s most recent spiral, which was encouraged by her love rival Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) and saw Linda almost lose her daughter Annie, it was Sharon who leapt to her best friend’s defence and even argued with a guilty Janine and sought to clear her friend’s name no matter what.

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Then, since Linda’s true love Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) was presumed dead at Christmas, Sharon remained by Linda’s side throughout and helped her to grieve and communicate with her young son Ollie Carter (Harry Farr) about these difficult moments.

However, the true sticking point emerged when Linda agreed to go into business with Sharon by co-owning the Vic when Mick’s shares went up for sale.

Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts in EastEnders.
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Despite a lucrative offer from the Panesars, Linda was all smiles and agreed with Sharon’s frankly fabulous idea of the pair of them running the Queen Vic together.

Yet, Sharon’s excitement caused panic for Linda and she privately revealed that she had concerns about a working partnership – and pursued a different deal in secret.

All the while, Linda strung along both the Panesars and Sharon as she hedged her bets, despite Sharon selling half of her gym and going into business with her ex-husband and on-off love interest Phil in order to fund her partnership with Linda.

This week, after Mick’s death certificate came through, Sharon helped Linda break the difficult news to Ollie about his dad before Linda finally delivered the kicker: she won’t be going into business with Sharon after all.

As Linda made excuses for her deception, it was clear that Sharon was not having it, causing some mud-slinging as Sharon insulted Linda by referring to her alcoholism.

Kellie Bright as Linda Carter in EastEnders.
Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) has let down her best friend Sharon in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

As Sharon called Linda out for being “weak”, the incredibly theatrical arrival of actress Harriet Thorpe as Linda’s mother Elaine Peacock heralded a new development at the Queen Vic.

This also ushers in a new era for Linda and Sharon as their friendship lies in tatters, with Sharon declaring their platonic relationship over.

Let’s be honest, Linda deserves Sharon’s wrath, as Sharon has stuck by her through so much now and this deception felt entirely unnecessary on Linda’s part.

It seems that the two ladies will have made up somewhat by Christmas as Sharon appears to be holding her wedding reception in the Queen Vic where Linda remains behind the bar.

Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts in EastEnders.
Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) is confronted with Linda's betrayal and mother Elaine in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Despite this, Sharon should leave Linda high and dry for a while longer and let her stew in her mistakes, showing her that disloyal friends need to be called out for some bad behaviour.

Of course, Linda has been going through the worst time in her life following the death of Mick, but Sharon is one of the few people who has stood by her throughout – so the least she could do is be honest with her.

In the meantime, some verbal sparring between these two incredible characters would also be wonderful to watch, and we’re sure Elaine won’t help matters either!

We imagine Linda and Sharon will reconcile down the line, but until then we’ll have to choose our sides – and I’m most certainly Team Sharon.

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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