SHOCK Christmas return for THIS EastEnders favourite could throw lives into CHAOS

EastEnders logo

EastEnders' Lee Carter is back in Walford where he belongs... but will everyone be happy to see him?

There's a Christmas treat for EastEnders fans this festive season when Lee Carter returns to Walford after nearly three years away.

But while the Carters are thrilled to haver their eldest son back in Albert Square, Lee's return coincides with Linda's downward spiral as her drinking gets out of control.

Linda goes all out for the ’Ball and Change’ winners dinner in Eastenders

Linda embarrasses Mick at the Ball and Change winners' dinner (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/ Gary Moyes)

As Linda goes all out for the 'Ball and Change' winners' meal, she throws herself into the festive spirit by getting dressed up in Christmas fancy dress.

WHAT IS ON TONIGHT? Check out our NEW and improved TV Guide

But when she realises Ruby Allen was joking about fancy dress, she masks her embarrassment by hitting the bottle.

Soon Linda is drunk and delivering some harsh home truths to Ruby, leaving Mick mortified.

In the end Mick throws Linda's wine down the sink, leading to her exploding with rage - unaware that little Ollie has witnessed the whole thing.

Lee arrives in Eastenders

Lee's back! But where is Linda? (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Gary Moyes)

As Christmas Eve evening arrives, mortified Linda goes and drinks on a bench alone in the Square gardens. But as she passes out... she misses Mick's Christmas surprise for her arrive - it's Lee!

The following day Linda hits rock bottom, and Lee is likely to be shocked at what has happened to his mum since he last saw her.

But things only get worse when later Linda goes missing and everyone panics that something horrific has happened to her.

Lee arrives in Eastenders

The Carters are determined to have a good Christmas despite Linda's troubles (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Gary Moyes)

But will Lee be the one to help his struggling mum and talk some sense into her, or could he bring more chaos to her door?

And what will Whitney think when she comes face-to-face with her ex husband?

Having gone through so much over the last few months after her ordeal with Leo, not to mention her doomed wedding day to Callum... will Whitney be pleased to see Lee? Or will the pair end up fighting like old times?

EastEnders’ hour-long special airs at 9.30pm on BBC One on Christmas Day

EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.