The EastEnders Christmas special is a highlight of the festive TV schedule, and now the cast have posed for a special snowy group portrait ahead of the usual chaos, bloodshed and tragedy.

The BBC soap’s regular cast members gathered in Albert Square, which was decorated for the holiday season.

Kat and Alfie Moon



Kat and Alfie Moon (Nicky Johnston/BBC)

 

Kat and Alfie Moon are also included, as Jessica Wallace and Shane Richie will be back for their guest stint visiting Stacey Branning, before they head off to Ireland for their spin-off series.

Walford is already starting to embrace the Christmas spirit, as next week Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) decides to step up and organise decorations for the Square when the council refuse to provide a Christmas tree this year.

(BBC)



Ian Beale with his mum Kathy (BBC)

 

But with an expensive plan, he is forced to seek financial help from pub landlord Mick Carter.

Thankfully, the scheme comes off, with everyone getting together for the Christmas lights switch-on.

(BBC)



Ian Beale wants to light up Albert Square (BBC)

 

Meanwhile, Aunt Babe (Annette Badland) has also devised a plan to make Christmas special for everyone.

Last year was chaos for the Carter clan on Christmas Day, with the revelation that Dean Wicks had raped Linda Carter, and that he was actually Mick’s brother.

But Babe is determined to make things better. Unfortunately buying a live goose ahead of the Christmas feast doesn’t impress Nancy Carter (Maddy Hill) very much.

Aunt Babe brings a surprise guest into the Vic, but Maddy Hill is not impressed



Aunt Babe brings a surprise guest into the Vic (Jack Barnes/BBC)

 

Speaking on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man about the festive specials, Danny Dyer – who plays Mick – said: “It’s bad to be honest. I can’t really declare it, but it’s f***ing horrible yeah.

“I’ve got away with Christmas Day, but New Year’s Day is the one where I am getting married and all that stuff. But it goes wrong, badly, but it gets better.”

According to the Radio Times, he added: “It’s got a right good ending on New Year’s Day. That’s all I can give away – the ending is unbelievable. It’s a right lovely ‘doof doof’. For once it is a nice ‘doof doof’.”