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EastEnders to air DARK post-watershed episode on Christmas Day

(Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

EastEnders will have a later time slot than usual this Christmas...

EastEnders is getting ready for its darkest Christmas yet after the BBC confirms this year's festive episode will be aired post-watershed.

As soap fans know, Christmas episodes are always packed full of drama, with storylines that have been playing out throughout the year coming to a climax.

EastEnders Mick Carter

EastEnders will be aired at a later time than usual on Christmas Day (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

However, this year's festive offering from EastEnders promises to be the most chilling yet due to the later than usual time slot.

More: Christmas TV Guide - the best shows and when they're on 

The 55 minute episode on Christmas Day will be aired at 9.10pm, later than the soap is aired the rest of the year round, giving writers more freedom to take the drama up a notch or two.

It's not the first time that EastEnders has been aired later than usual on Christmas Day, and we can't wait to see what the writers have got in store for us.

Here is a hint of what's to come... 

Carter Christmas love triangle

EastEnders Linda and Max

Will Mick's refusal to open up push Linda towards Max again? (Picture: BBC)

This Christmas in Walford will see Mick Cater (Danny Dyer) continuing on his downward spiral, pushing away those he loves as he's confronted by his dark past.

But it seems his actions will only force wife Linda (Kellie Bright) to turn to Max Branning (Jake Wood) more than ever.

An EastEnders insider revealed: "After a tumultuous year, secrets and lies are on the menu this Christmas for the Carters.

"As Mick continues to battle with demons from his past, he fails to notice Linda, feeling more alone than ever, falling victim to temptation and turning elsewhere for comfort.

"Will Linda’s dirty laundry be laid out for everyone to see?

"Or will Mick find the strength to open up before it’s too late?

The nightmare before Christmas for Denise 

Jack Branning confronts Denise in EastEnders

Denise is about to have her world turned upside down (Picture: BBC)

Denise Fox is also set to have a Christmas she will never for get - but for all the wrong reasons.

Her world will be destroyed when her serial killer ex, Lucas Johnson, returns to Walford.

But that's not the only familiar face about to walk back into Denise's life... because her eldest daughter, Chelsea, is also set for a dramatic return.

Our EastEnders mole continued: "Denise is preparing for her first Christmas with Raymond but the Christmas joy is short-lived as an unexpected face from the past rattles her to her core."

Aftermath of Ian's attack

EastEnders Jack Branning

Who attacked Ian Beale? (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

The fallout of Ian Beale's vicious attack in The Vic will also continue to play out at Christmas, but who his hiding a guilty secret?

"Revenge is a dish best served cold and unfortunately for Ian, it comes by the barrel load," adds our EastEnders insider.

"With enemies everywhere, has the most-hated man in Albert Square finally pushed it too far?

"The fallout of the attack will see Walford in turmoil throughout the festive season with many residents suspicious of dealing the brutal blow and desperate to cover their tracks."

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.