LAUREN Branning finally comes home next week after being away from Walford for more than a year.
But as she returns, fellow EastEnders icon Linda Carter is stuck in a predicament and one of her biggest secrets comes to light.
Christmas has left The Queen Vic landlady (played by Kellie Bright) in a vulnerable position as she stabbed Keanu Taylor to death in an attempt to stop him from killing her pal Sharon Watts.
Linda has been having issues with keeping schtum about the murder and she turned to boozing once again to cope.
With her addiction still going strong, fellow residents who helped her get rid of Keanu’s body are terrified she may start blabbing around Walford.
While Linda is pleaded to keep her act together, many have forgotten that she’s keeping another huge secret, all about her baby daughter Annie.
And with Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) returning to the Square, the secrecy begins to fade.
After being arrested in Paris, while she was trying to make her way to Walford, Lauren finally manages to head back home and gets the shock of her life in scenes airing on BBC One.
Coming up, a newly released Lauren arrives back in Albert Square and is desperate to be reunited with her son Louie, who managed to enter the country with her cousin Penny Branning (Kitty Castledine).
Peter Beale (Thomas Law) manages to convince her to stay longer, and Lauren goes to see Penny and check she’s okay.
Things get worse when she discovers Peter knew all about Penny’s secret and didn’t tell her, so she decides to go to Tanya’s immediately.
Meanwhile, Linda is terrified that Lauren will discover the truth about baby Annie’s paternity.
As regular viewers will remember, Linda had an affair with Lauren’s father Max Branning who left the Square in 2021.
Since then, Linda tried to fix her marriage with Mick Carter but this ended in tears as he vanished at sea on Christmas Day 2022.
Lauren has no idea Linda gave birth to a baby girl, the result of her affair with her father and Annie has been raised as part of the Carter clan.
Fortunately for the Vic landlady, Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) promises not to tell.
But while Lauren and Louie get into the taxi, Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) stops her to spill the beans and tells her that she’s got another sister in Walford.
In later scenes, Lauren bursts into The Vic and demands to know why Linda didn’t tell her that Annie is her sister.
How will Linda react?
Multiple fans of the London-based drama have been hoping for Max Branning to return and join his daughter Lauren in the Square.
Could the news of Annie’s paternity be enough to convince him to give life in Walford another try?
Will Linda receive grief over her secret?
EastEnders airs from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.