EastEnders star reveals who we should worry about in Christmas murder

It’s the biggest whodunnit in soap as we all scratch for clues to a killing that hasn’t happened yet. When EastEnders teased the dramatic events that will unfold on Christmas Day 2023 in a special and genre-busting flash-forward episode, there were theories everywhere as to who the male victim could be.

And as well as the fans speculating, the cast have also been scratching their heads trying to work out what’s going to happen.

The special sequence, shown in May, showed Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) walking into the Vic on Christmas Day and discovering a dead body on the floor. Also present were Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal), Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

Clues abounded, from Sharon’s wedding dress, Denise holding a broken bottle, Stacey with blood on her hands and a strategically placed suit of armour (which later turned out to belong to the Knight family). It all ensures that from now on until Christmas every episode is going to be mined for hints about the drama that will develop over the festive season.

Brian Conley, who’s looking forward to some drama in the immediate future as his character Rocky prepares to get married to Kathy Beale, is as intrigued by the mystery as anyone else.

‘I’ve got a bit of a shiver now,’ he admitted as he talked about the Christmas storyline. ‘We do all sit there in the green room going “Is it you? Is it you? What’s going to happen? I don’t know.”’

What he is certain of is that it’ll be a major character who dies in the episode in question.

‘It’s going to be something big. They can’t cheat the audience, it’s going to be something big that’s going to happen at Christmas,’ he said. ‘I think it’ll be big. It won’t be someone that’s just been there a week. That’s my theory, anyway.’

One of the hints in the flash-forward sequence was the the dead character was wearing cufflinks. As Rocky’s wedding approaches, will he be wearing a similar set of cufflinks with his wedding suit?

Brian reckons it’s a possibility – but at this stage, the Christmas corpse could be anyone. He credits the show’s boss, Chris Clenshaw, with creating a scenario that has got everyone talking.

‘I think you should be worried for everyone,’ he insisted. ‘We all are, as actors. We genuinely are. I bet in that lead-up to Christmas there’ll be 10 people that you’ll go “I bet it’s them.” I think that’s what Chris has brought to the table and I think he’s brilliant.

‘We do talk about it. None of us have got a clue. I know that there’s maybe two or three people who are aware of where it might go and even that might change. Online they’ve got their own theories. Someone said because of the different colours [worn by the women in the flash-forward] – you’ve got someone dressed in green, someone in red – they said that is the London Underground map. You’ve got the Bakerloo line, you’ve got the Central line. People have tried to work out this sort of scenario.’

When asked whether he sees himself being in EastEnders long term, Brian said he would ‘love to be there,’ but he was realistic about his chances given that a major character is certain to exit in December.

‘I might only last till Christmas, and that’s the fun of it!’ he said. ‘I think as actors we all live on tenterhooks to a small degree because you could be written out in two weeks or a week. For me that makes it exciting as well, because you don’t know. I think it keeps everyone’s game up.’

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