While EastEnders remains off the air as new episodes are filmed, the run of weekly classic instalments continues and this week is one of the greats – the Christmas Day reveal of the affair between Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) and Max Branning (Jake Wood).
Here is all you need to know ahead of tonight’s episode if you need a bit of a refresher.
When did Max and Stacey’s affair begin?
Max already had form with affairs and before Stacey, there was Gemma Clewes (Emmerdale’s Natalie J.Robb). When Max first met Stacey, he was not impressed and did not hide how much he thought son, Bradley (Charlie Clements) could do better. Stacey soon fell pregnant and Max talked Bradley into wanting an abortion – which destroyed the relationship. It was this that prompted Stacey to make a move on Max out of revenge and the affair began. To complicate matters even further, Max’s wife Tanya (Jo Joyner) announced she was pregnant and Max found himself torn between saving his marriage and continuing on with Stacey. He eventually chose Tanya and ended the affair, with Stacey and Bradley soon reuniting and getting engaged. But the story was far from over…
How was Max and Stacey’s affair revealed?
Despite the affair ending, the two did share one more kiss, on the night on Stacey and Bradley’s wedding no less. It turned out to be a kiss too far as, unbeknownst to them, Lauren (then played by Madeline Duggan) had a camcorder running which recorded the whole thing. And what better time for the tape to be played then when all the family are gathered around to celebrate Christmas? And that is exactly what happened as Lauren made a copy of the recording and ensured that Bradley saw it. It is this episode airing tonight and it is certainly one of the more memorable EastEnders festive episodes.
What happened next?
Nothing good. Both couples filed for divorce quickly after the Christmas debacle and things soon turned nasty. Tanya moved on with Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) and Max set about playing dirty in his quest to best her in the divorce. To say things went south from there would be an understatement as events led to Tanya burning Max alive in the woods. Whilst she did have a change of heart and did not leave him down there to die, it was a shocking move from a character we never knew was capable of such an act.
But at least they both survived. Things were even worse for the other half of the affair as Bradley plummeted to his death from the roof of The Queen Vic whilst running from the police who suspected him of murdering Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb). The evil rapist had previously attacked Stacey and it was, in fact, her that was guilty of the killing. The dramatic events played out in the live EastEnders episode in 2010. Max then helped Stacey flee the country when Turner left the role before returning full time in 2014.
Is there still anything between Max and Stacey?
Both characters are still regular fixtures in Walford, although Stacey has been absent as Lacey Turner is on maternity leave and is expected to make a return soon. As for whether there is still a spark between them both, well it’s never likely to go away entirely. They have revisited their feelings for each other in the past and when Max began a relationship with Stacey’s friend, Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton), she was visibly jealous and was very stern with Max about not mistreating her. So as of right now, there is nothing between them but given the chequered history they have, we would not be surprised to see them back in each other’s arms again at some point in the future.