Is there a secret Seventh leading lady for EastEnders Christmas 2023? Theories, clues

Why was Six afraid of Seven?

Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater, Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar, Kellie Bright as Linda Carter, Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts, Diane Parish as Denise Fox, Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale for EastEnders, with a yellow silhouette of a woman and a question mark overlayed on it in front.

It’s the soap story we just can’t get enough of this year.

EastEnders has had its fans questioning everything ever since the unprecedented flash-forward to Christmas 2023 back in February which saw six women – Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), Denise Fox (Diane Parish), Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), and Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) – standing over a suited man’s dead body on the floor of the Queen Vic pub on Sharon’s wedding day.

In addition to speculation over who the dead man is and who the groom is, another question is, of course, which of the women are responsible for the death?

Of course, it could be any one of them, but many have wondered if the real culprit is someone else entirely…

Is there a secret Seventh leading lady for EastEnders Christmas 2023?

Of course, EastEnders does love a bit of misdirection with its big mysteries.

For the ‘Who killed Archie Mitchell?’ whodunnit from 2009-2010, the real culprit Stacey Slater was never offered as an official suspect.

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Similarly, Bobby Beale was also never an official suspect promoted by the show for the ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale?’ whodunnit from 2014-2015.

So, could the killer of the dead body in this case be none of “The Six” featured in EastEnders’ big flash-forward?

The women are all looking at the dead body but are also facing one side of the room. Could another woman be present and responsible for the Yuletide death?

There are certainly a few possibilities, which will also impact who the dead body is.

So could be the secret culprit in the EastEnders Christmas 2023 death?

Kat Mitchell (Jessie Wallace)

Jessie Wallace standing in a street as Kat Mitchell in a red dress in EastEnders.
Will Kat Mitchell (Jessie Wallace) be driven to murder? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

An iconic character in her own right and one of the Square’s most fierce matriarchs, it felt like Kat Mitchell could have very easily been a member of the Six.

While the Slater name gets a share of the drama in the form of Stacey, Kat is one of the longest-running strong female characters on the Square and has gained an even more prominent status in Walford as the fifth wife of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

However, unbeknownst to Kat who recently married Phil, he has helped hide the fact that her ex-husband Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) has been secretly battling prostate cancer and also has hidden his infidelity with Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit), whom he subsequently threatened to leave Walford.

Kat and Phil have faced numerous issues in the past due to his criminal schemes and putting her and her children in danger, but will this be one mistake too far?

Additionally, Kat is hiding a secret of her own: she knows that Phil is the father of Sharon’s son, Albie, but fearful it could impact their marriage, she has kept it hidden. How would Phil react to this?

Could Kat kill Phil in the heat of the moment?

Alternatively, if the Six women band together to take down an abusive and violent man, Kat has suffered the horrors of child sex abuse and sexual assault in the past, meaning she will know all too well what it is like to be victimised by a man.

Could Kat strike out with the other ladies to protect one of the other women on the Square?

Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins)

Michelle Collins as Cindy Beale in EastEnders
Could Cindy Beale kill? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

The comeback everyone was talking about, legendary schemer Cindy Beale strutted back into Albert Square this summer and brought a whole heap of drama with her.

Of course, Cindy has a track record with attempted murder – she famously tried to have Ian killed by a hitman in 1996 during a very bitter custody battle over their children.

Ian may have forgiven her, but the stress of her return to his life appears to have caused a heart issue. With affairs in past, it seems likely that Cindy will stray again – most likely with her second husband George Knight (Colin Salmon).

Could this trigger Ian’s death or could Cindy purposefully try to bump him off again?

Alternatively, could Cindy also crack and kill George himself if their passionate love-hate relationship escalates?

We would never put it past Cindy to get involved in the drama, but now it appears George and Ian have been ruled out of the running to be the body due to their presence in spoilers for January.

Yet, Cindy is also now a business partner of nasty Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo). Could his actions drive her to murder?

Eve Unwin (Heather Peace)

Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar and Heather Peace as Eve Unwin sat on a bench in EastEnders.
Will Eve Unwin (right) kill to protect her beloved Suki? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Eve Unwin has been one of the most prominent characters in EastEnders this year, not least as one half of her passionate affair with Suki Panesar, one of the Six.

Additionally, Eve is the wife and best friend of another member of the Six, Stacey Slater.

Known to have a temper when pushed to her limit – she did serve time for GBH after all – Eve could perhaps be a wildcard in striking out against a Square villain.

Eve would certainly have a motive to kill the likes of love rival and villain Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry), Suki’s villainous step-son Ravi Gulati (Aaron Thiara), or even Suki’s manipulative son Vinny Panesar (Shiv Jalota).

Additionally, Eve could also be poised to try and protect Stacey from the likes of her evil stalker Theo Hawthorne (William Ellis) if he returns.

Finally, Eve may have found fresh conflict with Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) after he ratted on her being alive to the police, placing Suki in danger from Nish once more.

Whatever happens, Eve is not one to sit on the sidelines in a dangerous situation. Could she be the Seventh?

Shirley Carter (Linda Henry)

Linda Henry as Shirley Carter in EastEnders
Linda Henry as Shirley Carter in EastEnders BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

A modern icon of EastEnders, Shirley Carter walked out of Walford last December following the apparent death of her son Mick Carter (Danny Dyer).

Despite leaving Walford, Shirley has been confirmed by the BBC to be returning to the soap, but almost a year has gone by without her present.

The last we heard of Shirley was back in February – during the episode which featured the now legendary flash-forward where it was confirmed in a photo seen by former daughter-in-law Linda Carter that she had been reunited with her daughter Carly Wicks (Kellie Shirley) and, more shockingly, her previously estranged son and Linda’s rapist, Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo).

Previously, Shirley had – after a long road – turned her back on Dean after it became clear he had raped Linda and also attempted to rape Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons). Shirley even almost killed Dean and he almost killed her in turn.

In the aftermath of the photo discovery, Linda did not keep in touch with Shirley and then when evil Dean returned to Walford at Halloween and tormented Linda, he revealed that Shirley had experienced a nervous breakdown and now sided with him once more regarding his false claims that he never raped Linda.

Dean revealed that Shirley now resided in a mental institution and had been abandoned by everyone in her family bar him.

When Linda tried to call Shirley, she found her number had been disconnected and doubted Dean’s claims, but Shirley has remained absent ever since.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the time of Dean’s return, executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: “So, Linda Henry is currently taking a break from the show.

“But you know, when she walked off with Lady Di last year, in the wake of Mick’s disappearance, it won’t have been the last you see of her. I can say that for sure.”

Could Shirley make a last-minute return and put a stop to Dean for good?

Amy Mitchell (Ellie Dadd)

Ellie Dadd as Amy Mitchell for EastEnders.
Ellie Dadd as Amy Mitchell for EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Amy Mitchell (Ellie Dadd) has not had an easy year. Suffering from mental health issues that have driven her to self-harm, facing the loss of her beloved mother Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) years prior, dealing with her brother impregnating her best friend, and the collapse of her dad Jack”s marriage to Denise.

As Amy has once again been left in a troubled state by problems at home, will she be driven to violence by her father’s adultery and manipulations of Denise?

Additionally, evil Dean once attempted to rape Amy’s mother Roxy years prior, which would give her motive for revenge.

We know that Denise and Stacey would likely be keen to protect Amy from whatever crimes she could commit. Could Amy be an unlikely killer?

Bernadette Taylor (Clair Norris)

Clair Norris as Bernie Taylor and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders standing, talking to each other
Clair Norris as Bernie Taylor and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Bernadette “Bernie” Taylor (Clair Norris) has had a fairly quiet year despite appearing in a large number of episodes gossiping in the cafe.

However, her biggest story has come since her mother Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) fled Walford with Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) was forced to flee Walford after Karen was exposed as staging the kidnapping of Albie Watts.

Since then, Bernie’s only support left in the Square has been brother Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) but he has neglected her despite her knowing that he was the real mastermind behind the kidnapping plot.

We know Bernie will be driven to extremes this Christmas, but will she be driven to murder her own brother?

Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf)

Kim Medcalf as Sam Mitchell standing in the Slater living room in EastEnders.
Could Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) be the one responsible for the death? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Another character who had been absent for a large chunk of the year, Sam Mitchell made a temporary exit from Walford in April, heading to Spain for a lucrative hotel management job to raise funds for parenting her now-infant granddaughter, Charli Slater.

Sam returned to Walford in November and took tentative steps to grow close to her son Ricky Branning (Frankie Day) and his daughter Charli.

As Sam is always sure to bring some chaotic energy with her, could it be as the Seventh woman involved on Christmas Day?

Despite two former Mrs Mitchells in the ranks of the Six (Sharon, Kathy), there is no representation by blood for the Mitchell dynasty in the line-up, meaning Sam could fulfil that role.

Sam is one of the few female Mitchells standing following the deaths of Peggy, Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell, so it would make sense to include her in the drama in some way.

Elaine Peacock (Harriet Thorpe)

Harriet Thorpe as Elaine Peacock for EastEnders.
Harriet Thorpe as Elaine Peacock for EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Ever since returning with a new face this summer, new Queen Vic landlady Elaine Peacock (Harriet Thorpe) has been in the thick of the action, not least with the arrival of her beau George Knight and his family.

However, an obstacle in Elaine’s romantic bliss of life with George emerged when Cindy Beale returned to Walford in August and was revealed to be the true identity of George’s long-lost wife Rose.

If George is tempted into an affair with Cindy, could Elaine seek revenge on him?

As the landlady of the pub, Elaine has a natural proximity to whatever occurs there and her daughter Linda is already a member of the Six.

Additionally, Elaine has already established close bonds with the Six, especially the likes of Kathy Cotton.

Meanwhile, Elaine has been the most prominent wearer of the colour yellow since she arrived, a bold primary colour that is not worn by any of the other members of the Six.

Could yellow be the colour of the Seventh and could Elaine be the missing link in the chain?

The spoilers seem to suggest Elaine is removed from the action until she almost stumbles on the Queen Vic scene on Boxing Day. So does this rule out? We’ll have to wait and see.


Of course, there are a number of other regular female characters in the cast who could also be an additional member of the group currently dubbed ‘The Six’.

  • Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy)
  • Yolande Trueman (Angela Wynter)
  • Jean Slater (Gillian Wright)
  • Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton)
  • Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams)
  • Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty)
  • Kim Fox (Tameka Empson)
  • Lily Slater (Lillia Turner)
  • Lexi Pearce (Isabella Brown)
  • Gina Knight (Francesca Henry)
  • Anna Knight (Molly Rainford)
  • Priya Nandra-Hart (Sophie Khan Levy)
  • Avani Nandra-Hart (Aaliyah James)

So, who do you think it could be?

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