EastEnders‘ Steve John Shepherd warns Soaplife that Michael is going to make Eddie pay for his mum’s death if it kills him – or his brother!

Michael is obsessed with getting his revenge on Eddie and doesn’t care who gets hurt. He has Tyler lined up for a beating in an unlicensed fight and Vanessa is being dangled like a carrot in a bid to get Eddie dumped by Carol. “Michael wants Eddie to shoulder the blame for his mum’s death,” says Steve. And, he warns: “Damaged people are dangerous.” And Michael is very damaged…

Michael’s plot is very complicated. Why?
“He’s come up with this elaborate plan where he’s orchestrated a fight for Tyler. He’s made Tyler think he’ll win, but his opponent is a superior fighter. Eddie dotes on Tyler so Michael thinks it will teach his dad a lesson if Tyler gets hurt.”

So why’s he keen for his other brother Anthony to bet on the fight?
“He has a way of manipulating Anthony, who looks up to him. The idea is Anthony will put a lot of money on Tyler which he’ll then lose.”

Is he still also plotting for Carol to break his dad’s heart?
“Yes. He wants Vanessa to seduce Eddie so that Carol finds out about it and finishes with him on 13 September, the anniversary of Michael’s mum’s death. The date will mean a lot to Eddie.”

Why has he chosen Vanessa as his partner in crime?
“He sees weakness in her. She goes along with the plan because she’s desperate for money, but questions Michael when she finds out about the fight. She doesn’t want to be part of anything illegal and is worried about Tyler getting hurt.”

How does Michael react when Vanessa tries to back out?
“He flips and threatens her, saying that if she doesn’t go along with his plan to make Eddie suffer then she won’t get her money and Jodie won’t get the dream wedding she wants. He vows that together they will break Eddie’s heart.”

It all sounds very risky…
“There is a lot of room for things to go wrong, but Michael enjoys the risk.”

It’s Tyler who’s most at risk though…
“Tyler’s clearly mismatched and he gets pummelled to the ground. But he gets up and fights back and wins – then collapses. He’s in a bad way. And so’s Anthony. He loses thousands of pounds because he bet on Tyler’s opponent to win!”

Doesn’t Michael care that Tyler could die?
“His mind works in a laser beam kind of way – he puts a beam on his project and doesn’t worry about any collateral damage that might be caused.”

What does he want to achieve by hurting Eddie?
“He wants justice in his own mind. It’s recognition from Eddie. It’s closure. There are some intricate scenes coming up between Eddie and Michael where they kind of begin to work stuff out.”

Eddie’s leaving Walford. Will Michael be close behind?
“I’m very happy here at the moment. I know there’ll always be another bad guy so I’m going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts…”