EastEnders’ Kellie Bright tells Soaplife how Linda’s secret starts to leak out after she tells Stacey…

There won’t be much in the way of chilling out in front of the TV for the Carters this Christmas, after Stacey Slater finds out Linda was raped by Dean. Once a secret is out in Walford, it spreads like flames on a brandy-soaked Christmas pud, and Linda’s on tenterhooks when Dean turns up drunk at the Vic on Christmas Day. “It’s going to be very dramatic,” promises Kellie.

Why does Linda tell Stacey that Dean raped her?

“Linda goes to see Stacey [Lacey Turner] with the intention of telling her, to let her know what sort of man Dean really is. But she gets cold feet and doesn’t know what to say to this girl she hardly knows. Stacey picks up on something. She’s been raped in the past and she’s the one who prompts Linda into telling her what happened.”

Stacey urges Linda to tell Mick (Danny Dyer)… Will she?

“So far, the reason Linda hasn’t told her family is because she wants to protect them. What happened to Linda has changed her for ever and she knows it will change the people she loves. I think, initially, she was in a fog of shock and asking herself if it was her fault in any way.”

How hard has it been for Linda to keep the rape secret?

“This has changed who Linda is as a human being. She’s become someone who’s told lie upon lie to the people closest to her, and it’s forced her to become someone she doesn’t recognise any more. She’s gone so far down that road, it feels impossible to come back from it.”

Does Dean expect to be invited to The Vic on Christmas Day?

“He wants to come, but Linda’s told Mick he isn’t welcome. The hardest thing for Linda is Dean [Matt Di Angelo] is so present in her world. If he wasn’t there, she could go, ‘That didn’t happen’ and try to carry on with her life. Whenever he’s there being normal with Mick or Nancy [Maddy Hill], Linda sees the ugly, dangerous person he is underneath and wants him to disappear.”

What’s in store for Linda in 2015?

“I don’t know what it holds for Linda. What I will say is you can’t put these things into a little box and hope it goes away. What happened to Linda will not be wrapped up neatly at Christmas. It won’t completely go away.”

EastEnders, BBC1. Click here for dates and times.