If there are two things that Christmas soap episodes are renowned for, its death and weddings. And this year, they dont disappoint as a Slater Christmas may end in tragedy in EastEnders while Coronation Street is also lining up potential disaster as Lewis Archer plots and Jenny Connor hits rock bottom while Daniel Osbourne fears his wife Sinead will die.
Emmerdale has a chaotic Dingle wedding while Hollyoaks prepares to unmask Louis Loveday as the love rat that he is on his special day to Leela Lomax. Over in Walford, Mel Owen has revenge rather than marriage in mind on her wedding day to Ray Kelly but its all about to go spectacularly wrong.
Its a massive end to the year for all of the soaps and our major preview contains exploding secrets, vicious revenge, shocking passion, surprise returns, romantic reunions, major mistakes under the influence of alcohol, a new arrival, a wintry trip to Blackpool, a lonely Christmas, a sibling scrap, some mishandling of botox needles, a vicious beating, an ill advised kiss, a tense proposition and, of course, a new boat for Peter Barlow. Of course.
1. Alfie is determined for the Slater Christmas to be a pure delight for Kat but he hasnt banked on the one secret he never wanted to come out exploding in his face. As Kat reels to learn that Alfie is the father of Hayleys baby, a showdown ensues.
2. Linda wants to get things back to normal but she cant shake off the fear that Mick has done something terrible to Stuart – but when she sees him talking to Phil about recent events, she is more worried than ever.
3. Louise is invited to Keegans for dinner as he extends an olive branch but soon, she only has eyes for Keanu – especially after she misreads a gift. Before long, the pair are getting passionate.
4. Kim ends up going into labour while locked in the Minute Mart stock cupboard with Phil, which isnt ideal. But after he helps her deliver her bundle of joy, she is grateful to him and they reach a new understanding.
5. Stacey reaches out to Max on Christmas Day, which is the first anniversary of Abis death. He is touched by her warm support and he feels buoyed and ready to celebrate a family Christmas.
6. In the wake of the carnage at the Slater household, another shocking event takes place and one member of the family finds themselves with blood on their hands. But whose life is at serious risk?
7. Mel has one thing on her mind when it comes to Ray – revenge which is both deserved and brutal. As the wedding day gets underway, Mel gets set to expose the truth but when Ray turns the tables, Mel finds herself in serious danger.
8. Karen is delighted when Kandice arrives for Boxing Day dinner but Mitch is in tow and desperate to make amends with Keegan. Karen feels betrayed as Kandice helps Mitch get a foot in but can he convince the Taylors that he is a changed man?
9. Whitney is surprised when she thinks that she might be pregnant but when she breaks the news to Halfway, his reaction is far from what she was expecting. Whitney steels herself and takes a test, but what will it show?
10. Bernadette is hurt when Tiffany continues to ditch her in favour of Evie and when Karen susses out what is on her daughters mind, she marches round and has it out with Tiff, giving her food for thought.
11. A very awkward dinner sees the truth about Jennys actions against Liz come to light and all of the poisonous feelings erupt in a dramatic showdown. As Liz and Johnny are left disgusted, Jenny hits the bottle in a big way.
12. Daniel is determined that Sinead has the perfect Christmas and sets about preparing a vegan meal but as the day gets underway, Daniel confides his fears in Peter that Sinead will die – and she overhears.
13. After a drunken night, Tim wakes up in bed beside Gina and is disgusted with himself. Unable to keep secrets from Sally, he arranges a visit with the intention of telling her the truth about what has happened.
14. Gail becomes more and more suspicious of Lewis and follows him to a hotel where she takes snaps of him with another woman before then warning Audrey. After this, Lewis warns Gail to keep her nose out.
15. When Peter invests in the snooker hall, Carla reckons its a mid life crisis and challenges him to a game of pool – if she wins, then he has to give it up. Needless to say, pool is one of Carlas many talents. After her victory, sexual tension mounts between them as they talk frankly.
16. Rana remains broken so Imran and Toyah encourage her to join them on a night out, where she bumps into Imogen who fancies her chances with newly single Kate. But this prompts Rana to decide what she truly wants.
17. Mary heads to Blackpool where she tracks down Jude, who asks her for more money. But Roy then clocks that he is still lying as he has told his new partner that he is a surgeon called Dr Ken Barlow!
18. David is surprised when his old cellmate Paul turns up looking for work and when Billy helps him, they start flirting. But Gemma has a shock of her own when she finds Paul in her flat and recognises him as her brother.
19. Audrey refuses to give up on Lewis and agrees to meet him for dinner but when he doesnt arrive, she is gutted and thinks that Gail must be right. She is left feeling even worse when she finds that all of the money Archie left her has gone.
20. Peter is stunned when a boat is delivered to him and he discovers that Carla has bought it for him so that he has a project to get his teeth into.
21. Thinking that Sam is getting married, Marlon desperately tries to get him to the venue after a drunken night leaves them far from the village. But when they make it, Marlon learns that its actually a wedding for him and Jessie and he faints.
22. Bob is disheartened to learn that his new job as an elf doesnt pay but he does all he can to get presents for the twins – only for them to be left disappointed. With debts mounting, he faces a very bleak Christmas.
23. Bernice and Nicola snipe at one another over a disastrous Christmas dinner and Bernice is also mortified at the thought of turning 50 and does everything she can to avoid Liam finding out her age.
24. As David prepares dinner for a houseful which includes Tracy and Leyla, Maya steals some time away with Jacob but when David comes through, Jacob is forced to hide as David and Maya get passionate.
25. Dan is feeling lonely without Kerry around and heads out to beg her to come back for Christmas. Upon hearing that Amelia is blaming herself for Kerry leaving, she is left with a decision to make.
26. Matty is confronted by an ex who hits him with transphobic abuse. The gang then circle him and attack before humiliating him by tearing his top off and claiming that he isnt a real man.
27. Harriet is determined to find Dawn and enlists Ryans help. When she tracks her down, she encourages her to come back to the village but as Harriet takes her under her wing, its clear Dawn is still very troubled and disaster strikes.
28. Bernice is tired of quips about her age from Leanna and buys botox from online, which Kerry helps her to administer. But when Bernice then suffers a severe allergic reaction, she is warned she could be paralysed.
29. Charity is determined to make a fuss of Ryan on his first birthday since they were reunited and she plans a surprise party for him – only for him not to turn up. When Ryan does arrive, he realises how much it meant to Charity.
30. Cain is determined to avenge Matty and confronts Isaac and his friends but when memories of Joes death haunt him, he freezes and is beaten to a pulp. Matty involves the police but Cain fears he will drop himself in it over Joe.
31. As Ste faces mounting pressure and falling funds, he enjoys his growing friendship with Jonny – but gets a bad reaction when he tries to kiss him.
32. Its Louis and Leelas wedding day but all of his secrets are threatening to come back and haunt him as both Simone and Martine know hes a love cheat. Before long, the whole day descends into chaos.
33. Mercedes and Sylver decide to make a go of things together after recent events and plan a date but when Mercedes arrives and ends up stood up by Sylver, has he blown his chances of being with her?
34. Harry returns after a lengthy absence and he has one thing on his mind – winning back James. He sets out to prove himself and makes some grand gestures but can James put the past behind them?
35. Romeo sets out to tell Alfie the truth about Cindys medication so a furious Mac kicks him out and he is left to fend for himself as he sleeps rough. After a bad night, he contemplates asking James for help.
36. Claims are made that the vodka in The Dog is dangerous to consume and as an investigation is launched, Lisa tries her best to warn Liam before the police get wind of who the seller of the booze is.
37. Ollie is approached by a professional footballer who surprises him with an unexpected proposition which leaves him torn.
38. In the wake of murderous events over Christmas, Breda has been covering her tracks but its clear that the danger is far from over as she hides her killer secrets.
39. Maxine is head over heels in love with Damon but Sienna advises her to take things slow and not jump too quickly into something.
40. The Maaliks are given cause to celebrate when Imran returns, determined to be a better person.
Coming next year…
- One soap teenager delivers a massive baby bombshell to her parents – but who is the daddy?
- One much loved soap character is left for dead after being stabbed – will they survive?
- A destructive character finds themselves the victim of a calculated grooming campaign which makes them a danger to others.
- One couple makes a big decision about their future but will it bring them joy or heartbreak?
- Who makes a shocking confession over a murder which could destroy them – and others around them – forever?