When you think about classic EastEnders Christmas episodes that will forever stay in our memory, two instantly spring to mind.
No, not the one where everyone danced outside or when Pauline Fowler lay down in the snow and died.
You’d either be thinking of the most watched episode of all time, Den and Angie’s big divorce showdown or the visit to Albert Square that the BBC are about to treat us to all over again.
Yep, that infamous videotape that led to all kinda of awkward in the Branning living room (not to mention a GIF which has endless uses) is the latest iconic episode that will be shown and we can’t wait.
Heralded almost unanimously as one of the show’s strongest episodes, the Christmas Day brings about the reveal of a long running affair between Stacey and Max Branning (Lacey Turner and Jake Wood).
With Lauren (Madeline Duggan) having come across the tape which accidentally recorded a sex session between Max and his son’s wife, she popped it under the tree.
As luck would have it, it was the busiest and most packed the house had ever been when it was played – and Bradley (Charlie Clements) and Tanya (Jo Joyner) were left to deal with the fallout as their relationships fell apart and the betrayal came to light.
The showdown saw slanging matches, seriously barbed insults, slaps, meltdowns and even a tumble down the stairs – the classic hallmarks of a Christmas episode in Walford.
Reflecting on the major episode, Jake reflected: ‘It was a perfect storm. The Max and Stacey affair was played out all during that year. People took to those characters and that situation and the way it was revealed with a DVD and all the family watching… even watching it now it was very uncomfortable.
‘You really feel like you’re in that room with those characters and suffering the embarrassment and the awkwardness. And it’s just beautifully written and beautifully directed. Simon Ashdown wrote the episode. So yeah it was an amazing experience.
‘EastEnders Christmas episodes are part of British life. And to be a part of those is a great privilege and I look back on those episodes with great fondness.’
The chemistry between Max and Stacey still continues to be revisited from time to time to this very day – which goes to show the lasting legacy of this particular episode.
It will air on BBC One at 7.30pm on Tuesday 4 August.
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