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Chris Clenshaw talks EastEnders ‘The Christmas Six’

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Chris Clenshaw talks EastEnders ‘The Christmas Six’

On February 20th 2023, EastEnders aired a first-of-its-kind flashforward scene that offered its viewers a glimpse into the highly anticipated Christmas Day storyline.

Whilst it’s usually a happy time for many, Christmas Day in Albert Square is notoriously riddled with heartbreak and deceit, and this year will be no exception. Viewers know that one Walford male will find himself on the floor of The Queen Vic in the dreaded cufflinks but two very important questions remain to be answered – who is it and how has he come to be there?

Talking about the dramatic events in Walford this festive season Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw talks about his big soap plot.

It’s the storyline that’s had everyone on the edges of their seats since February. What can viewers expect from Christmas Day as the highly anticipated whodunnit is finally revealed?

“Christmas Day in Walford is always momentous and this year EastEnders viewers are in for a treat that will keep them guessing ‘whodunnit’ and ‘who-is-it’ right up until the very end.”

For the first time in the show’s history, viewers have been one step ahead of the characters. Have you been pleased with the fan reaction to the storyline over the past year?

“We’re incredibly pleased with the positive reaction to the Flash-Forward and The Six storyline since February. It’s been a long time in the making and the Christmas Day reveal really is an episode to watch live on Christmas Day.

“We’re thrilled with the buzz around The Six. It’s exactly what we hoped for; we hoped people would chat, we hoped people would speculate, we hoped that everyone would come up with their own theories and share those theories with one another. We wanted it to be a storyline that brings the viewers together too, and we’re over the moon that it seems to be doing that and the audience are enjoying being a part of it.”

The reveal is sure to open up a whole host of questions. Can you tease what’s in store for the characters involved as we head into 2024?

“The events of Christmas Day lead to The Six – Stacey, Suki, Linda, Sharon, Denise and Kathy – being bound together and it’s safe to say that none of their lives will ever be the same again.”

We know there has been a lot of drama in the Square this year, and lots more on the horizon. Where do we find each of The Six in the lead up to Christmas?

“Stacey is struggling in the wake of Theo and, through her desperation to find out the truth about Eve’s whereabouts, she finds herself connecting with someone who takes her by surprise. Suki is considerably worried about Eve and she’ll go to great lengths, putting everything on the line, to find out if her husband, Nish, is behind Eve’s sudden disappearance. Linda is tormented further by Dean Wicks and his actions lead to old habits dying hard for our landlady.

“Sharon is intent on marrying Keanu Taylor on Christmas Day while keeping the truth from him that their son Albie is in fact Phil Mitchell’s, but this isn’t a secret Sharon can contain and, on the Square, secrets never stay secret for very long… Denise’s marriage to Jack has been on the rocks since her dalliance with Ravi Panesar earlier in the year but it’s put under more pressure when, this side of Christmas, one of them break their marriage vows.

“Kathy is heartbroken having discovered that her husband Rocky Cotton was behind the arson attack on her beloved caff that put both her grandsons in hospital and left Peter fighting for his life. Having been swindled out of all of her savings, Kathy has had no option but to sell her pride and joy just before Christmas.”

Have you taken any additional measures to ensure the ending is a surprise for all involved?

“We’ve had several methods in place throughout the entire year to keep the storyline a secret and to ensure that the Christmas Day episode and the big reveal of who’s on the floor – plus who does it – remains under wraps until the 25th December. Sadly, I can’t reveal what those methods are as that would give everything away, but it would be a real shame if anyone spoiled the surprise as we know how much the audience love watching the drama unfold in real-time.”

Aside from the whodunnit reveal, what else can viewers expect to see in Walford on Christmas Day?

“The Mitchells gather for their first Christmas without Lola and Jay receives and unexpected Christmas present. Over at No.45, Ian pulls out all the stops for Cindy’s first Christmas back in Walford but is put out when her ex-husband George is their unexpected guest.”

EastEnders has had an incredible year of storylines. What are you most proud of?

“I’m proud of all of our storylines this year but I’m incredibly proud of Lola’s story and choosing to show the acutely relatable realities of losing a loved one all the way through to the end which continuing dramas, like EastEnders, allow us to do. Other standout moments this year – as well as of course each of the Christmas Flash-Forward stories – are Whitney and Zack saying goodbye to baby Peach, the arrival of the Knights and discovering how our newest family in Walford are connected to one of EastEnders’ original clans, the Beales, with Cindy and Ian’s epic return.”

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