EastEnders actor Steve John Shepherd explains to Soaplife how bad boy Michael’s prepared to do anything to marry Janine – and that includes ripping off gullible Jean…

Michael and Janine’s wedding plans are getting ever more lavish and it’s Jean who’s unwittingly footing most of the bill. “I fear I’m going to be stoned in the street as Michael does become quite beastly,” says Steve. Truth is, ‘beastly’ doesn’t begin to cover it!

Why doesn’t Michael just admit to Janine he’s strapped for cash?
“Because he thinks she’ll bolt if he tells her that before the wedding. He wants to seal the deal.”

And he seals another deal when he takes another ten grand from Jean and The Queen Vic…
“Yes. He hasn’t come this far to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory. Michael likes what having the money is doing for him. It’s giving him equality with Janine.”

But Roxy questions Jean over the missing money and Jean asks Michael for it back?
“Jean’s frantic and he has no choice, but to agree to sort it out. But Janine snatches the cash to pay for an even better reception venue and he’s up a gumtree.”

And he’s nearly caught when Jean confronts him in front of Janine…
“Michael is escaping for a weekend in Paris and he and Janine are about to get in a taxi when Jean turns up. Michael manages to bundle Janine into the cab so she doesn’t hear what’s going on as Jean pleads with him for the money.”

How does he fob her off?
“He coldly turns to Jean and says, ‘What money?’ That means it’s war – and Jean is going to put up a good fight.”

If he’s spent The Vic’s money, could the pub could go bust?
“The ramifications are quite grave because people like Kat and Alfie are implicated and that’s dangerous territory.”

So do Michael and Janine actually get married?
“Wait and see. You might think it must be doomed to failure because the ground on which they’ve built this relationship is so shaky. But you never know quite where you are with Michael.”