All you need to know about EastEnders’ big storylines ahead of the Christmas Day episode

There’s no denying it, EastEnders at Christmas always brings the drama, as the BBC soap takes centre stage in the festive TV schedule.

Back in the day you just knew that if Peggy Mitchell said something along the lines of ‘I just want everything to be perfect…’ then things were sure to take a turn for the worse, generally because her sons Phil or Grant would have a festive meltdown.

And this year there's plenty of similarly explosive drama in store, as several Albert Square residents risk their secrets being spilled to the people they're desperately trying to hide them from.

But if you've been too busy on the lead-up to the iconic Christmas Day episode, here's your essential catch-up on the stories that are set to have you dropping your mince pie in shock this year….

WILL CHELSEA AND GRAY SAY 'I DO'?

Bearing in mind how previous Christmas weddings have turned out, it’s amazing anyone ever plans a festive ceremony in Walford.

Remember Mel Healy, who walked out on Ian before the day was out? Or Ronnie who met a watery end along with sister Roxy on her big day?

Anyway, clearly Chelsea (Zaraah Abrahams) and Denise Fox (Diane Parish) both have short memories, as they are both due to wed on Christmas Day.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, she’s set to wed evil Gray, (Toby-Alexander Smith) who we all know bumped off first wife Chantelle.

Meanwhile Denise is marrying Jack Branning, (Scott Maslen) who was the unlucky groom who lost Ronnie before the wedding fizz had even gone flat.

The big problem for Gray is that his former flame Whitney (Shona McGarty) has realised he’s evil, and once she’s got proof, she’s determined to halt the ceremony, one way or another.

Will Chelsea believe a word Whitney’s saying?

On the big day, both Denise and Gray find themselves waiting for their prospective spouses. But if the weddings go ahead, will anyone live happily ever after?

WILL ROCKY'S SECRET BE EXPOSED?

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It took a little while for Sonia to warm to her dad Terry Cant – aka Rocky – (Brian Conley) when he turned up unexpectedly in Walford.

Unfortunately while Sonia did eventually bond with the cheeky chappie, fans then learnt that he isn’t Sonia’s dad at all, but is actually Tom Cotton, a son of Dot’s first husband Charlie Cotton.

He’s concocted a scheme with Dotty in a bid to get his hands on Dot’s inheritance, of which Sonia has control.

And since that news was revealed back in September, any soap fan worth their salt would have put a bet on their being a fateful episode when Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) learnt the truth.

Particularly after Tom/Terry/Rocky felt a rush of guilt and penned a letter to Sonia admitting the truth, only to then change his mind but find that the letter had gone missing before he could retrieve it.

If that letter were to come to light then Christmas was going to be the most dramatic time for it happen. Who can forget that time Sean Slater pulled a cracker and learnt that he wasn’t the father of Amy after all?

With Christmas just days away, Rocky faces a classic festive dilemma – as both Kathy and Sonia are expecting him to spend the big day with them.

Luck seems to be on his side when Rocky finds a way to spend the day with both Sonia and Kathy. And even the reappearance of the fateful note doesn’t scupper his scam.

But the story is far from over, and it’s safe to say that this is going to be a Christmas Day Sonia will never forget…

WILL JANINE GET HER CLAWS INTO MICK?

Meanwhile, over at The Vic, Mick (Danny Dyer) is contemplating Christmas without Linda (Kellie Bright), who fled the Square after Rainie (Tanya Franks) tried to tell everyone that Linda's new baby Annie was Max's and not her husband Mick's.

While Mick waits to see if she will return, he and Janine (Charlie Brooks) are busy organising a quiz – Best Spouse In the ‘Ouse.

But the landlord is the prize in scheming Janine’s sights. When she dresses up as Santa’s Little Helper, Janine hopes she’ll catch Mick’s eye.

When she then learns that Mick won’t be with Linda on Christmas Day, Janine uses the opportunity to appeal to his caring nature, explaining that she’ll be all alone as she won’t have Scarlett with her, prompting Mick to encourage her to do something about it.

Janine’s always been resourceful and pulls a stunt to impress her daughter. But that’s not the end of her plotting. Could Janine have a Christmas surprise or two in store for Mick as well?

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