William Hill began taking bets on who would kill Derek Branning after it emerged that actor Jamie Foreman is leaving the show. However, the betting was rendered redundant by the unscrupulous Branning brother suffering a fatal heart attack in the square following a family row in the soap’s festive offering.
Bosses at the beeb’s top-rating saga kept the intricacies of Derek’s demise under wraps prior to transmission. The soap won the ratings battle last night with over 9.4 million viewers tuning in.
EastEnders continues tonight at 8.30pm on BBC One