Ding ding ding, it's Branning vs Beale
The EastEnders festive period is always explosive to say the least, and we can probably count on one hand the number of years that have seen no deaths whatsoever in Walford. How any of the characters think spending Christmas and New Year in Albert Square will be a restful (or safe) time remains a mystery – you’re bloody lucky if you’re still alive and kicking mid-January.
Die-hard soap fans will be pleased to hear that this year is no different when it comes to EastEnders Christmas Episodes. Odds on the soap’s longest-standing character, Ian Beale, being killed off in a Branning vs Beale showdown are pretty strong.
Regular EE watchers know that Max Branning appears to be working his way through bumping off everyone who didn’t believe his innocence during the whole Lucy Beale saga.
Max holds a *slight* grudge against Ian (and Jane) after being sent to prison for Lucy Beale’s murder, as Ian knew all along she was killed by his son, Bobby. Which is fair enough, really.
Now it seems poor Ian is going to be the victim of a murder attempt at the hands of Mr Branning this Christmas. A source recently told The Sun: ‘Max becomes obsessed with revenge and that means wanting rid of Ian — but this time for good.
‘It’s a classic old-school storyline that will leave the viewers on the edge of their seats. Ian has been top of Max’s list since he came out of prison.’
Details of how exactly Max plans to rid Ian from the E20 is being kept under wraps for now: ‘In the run up to Christmas Max is a man on the edge and takes matters in his own hands when he tries to kill Ian,’ the source added.
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‘How Max will try to finish him off is not clear yet, but the episodes are set to be gripping.’
Earlier this year it was confirmed that Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald, aka Lauren and Abi Branning, are both leaving EastEnders. Things aren’t great between the sisters at the moment, what with Abi being pregnant with Lauren’s dead fiancé’s child and all.
We can’t help wondering if one or both of the Branning girls are set to meet their demise over the holidays, too.
But is this the year we finally see Phil Mitchell bumped off, we hear you ask? Probably not. He’s been shot twice, guys. The man is invincible or something.
Roll on a BBC1 binge-sesh at the end of next month.
Words by Lucy Abbersteen