EastEnders fans set for very unhappy Christmas as new trailer hints at Phil Mitchell's death

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Another festive season, another depressing EastEnders storyline to go along with it and, judging by the new trailer for the Christmas Day episode, it's set to be a weepy one.

The teaser has dropped and shows Walford stalwart Phil Mitchell, played by Steve McFadden, apparently finally succumbing to liver failure.

After months of ill health, Phil looks frail and worse than ever. He even says: "It's going to be my last Christmas, we might as well make it one to remember."

EastEnders
EastEnders' Phil Mitchell (BBC/YouTube grab)

Sharon, played by Letitia Dean, is seen crying rather a lot and saying: "I can't lose him."

Another hint comes in the form of Danny Dyer's Mick Carter raising a glass "to absent friends", but obviously the clip does not reveal whose memory he is drinking to. Is it Phil, or is it another member of the EastEnders clan who has already passed away?

Phil is awaiting a much-needed liver transplant after being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver following a long battle with alcoholism.

But Christmas Day could spell the end for him, after nearly 30 years on the soap opera.

Of course, undercutting all the doom and gloom in the trailer is a sense of festive happiness as a gaggle of Albert Square residents party it up in the Queen Vic pub.

EastEnders
EastEnders (BBC/Nicky Johnston)

There's drama with the return of Max Branning, played by Jake Wood, and Rita Simons' Roxy Mitchell walking back barefoot through the streets after a night out.

EastEnders fans will have to wait until 9.30pm on Christmas Day for the hour-long special episode, and it might be advisable to get some tissues at the ready.