EastEnders’ executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has been talking about what’s to come in 2015 – and we can reveal that the Christmas fireworks will continue long into the New Year…

For a start, there’s Shirley’s reaction to the Linda’s devastating revelation at Christmas that Dean [Matt Di Angelo] raped her. Remember, Mick and Dean are her sons…

“The easiest thing would be for her to say, ‘I’m your mum,’ and then have ‘Oh, mum, let’s have a hug’ [from them],” Dominic said. “And actually we had to put another big obstacle in the way. This was always the big twist. You’ve got to make it difficult. It’s EastEnders. If we were all cuddly you wouldn’t be watching.

“So it’s going to be very hard, and what’s wonderful is you’ve got someone like Linda Henry, who is just playing all these different, strange, facets of Shirley – who is not a sympathetic character. And yet you’re with her through this whole journey. And you’ve already met Daddy, the amazing Karl Howman from Brush Strokes. He’s coming back to do the next chapter of this story because he needs to see his two sons. And there’s a whole new era of the show coming up next year which is really exciting.”

Dominic teased the next chapter of the Carters saga.

“You haven’t had all the surprises yet. There’s a baby due. We’ve scripted the birth, which is suitably dramatic. And ultimately, also, it’s not all going to be bleak. There’s going to be joy – a lot of joy for the Carters coming up as well. Because that’s important. When they came in they were joyful.”

There there’s the secrets of EastEnders’ 30th  next February – and a certain murder mystery…

“You’ll find out who did it,” said Dominic. “We’re being really ambitious. I’ll either be very happy or never work again! Everyone is terrified and excited. You already know that Barbara Windsor is coming back as Peggy Mitchell, which is amazing. And there’s an amazing scene between Peggy and Mick [Danny Dyer]. It’s got them both very, very excited!

“We’ve gone back to the basics. Back to the origins of classic EastEnders for Christmas,” Dominic adds. “A secret that the audience know is going to come out and they’re wondering how it’s going to come out. It coming out ‘Boom!’ in the middle and then there’s the fall-out and it’s going to keep rumbling. Boxing Day picks up directly from that moment and, if possible, it gets even better!”

EastEnders continues on BBC1, Monday, December 22, 8.00pm.