EastEnders Christmas special leaves Ian Beale’s fate hanging in the balance

A dramatic Christmas episode of EastEnders has ended on a cliffhanger as viewers were left to ponder the safety of Ian Beale.

The 50-minute festive special ended with Sharon Watts suspiciously handing him a portion of Christmas pudding while she looks on and refuses to eat any herself.

Earlier in the episode, she had asked Phil Mitchell to kill Ian and later branded him a “coward” when he refused to do so, before saying she would do it herself.

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Adam Woodyatt (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Sharon (Letitia Dean) was pursuing a vendetta against Ian, who she holds responsible for the death of her son Dennis.

Earlier in the episode, viewers also saw Ben Mitchell threaten Ian, played by Adam Woodyatt, and admit that he discovered him after he was attacked in the Queen Vic and did nothing about it.

The Christmas Day episode also saw the return of Lucas Johnson, who is played by Don Gilet.

His return leaves his ex-wife Denise Fox traumatised.

Denise was previously framed for murder by Lucas, who had in fact committed the crime himself.

Lucas, who also tried to fake Denise’s suicide, was later jailed.

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Don Gilet (Ian West/PA)

After being released from jail, Lucas has managed to forge a relationship with his and Denise’s daughter Chelsea.

During Friday’s episode, Denise pleads with Chelsea not to trust Lucas but her daughter insists she is an adult who can make her own decisions.

Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) cuts a dejected figure in the episode as he finds his wife Linda Carter and Max Branning together on Christmas Day following their tryst.

Mick says Linda is “nothing to me”, adding: “She’s nothing to me any more.”

There was no evidence of London’s Tier 4 restrictions in Walford, whose residents were in each other’s houses and even enjoying a drink inside the Queen Vic.

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