EastEnders stalwart Pat Evans will reportedly die of cancer this Christmas, after organising a special party to celebrate her life.

It was announced earlier this year that Pam St Clement, 63, is leaving the BBC1 soap after 25 years, and The Sun reveals Pat is to learn she is terminally ill just before Christmas.

She apparently decides to keep the news secret ,but organises a knees-up in the Queen Vic pub and invites her sons David and Simon Wicks, granddaughter Bianca and stepson Ricky.

It was previously speculated that Pat would die in a fire after a replica of her Albert Square B&B was built on the show’s stunt set at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. But sources claim doctor Yusef Khan will perish in the blaze.

Pat will reportedly reveal she is dying at her party, then slip home alone and pass away peacefully in bed.

A source said: “There was no way bosses wanted Pat to sign off with a grisly death. It was always going to be a dignified farewell in which colleagues and viewers could raise a glass to her.”

It has already been reported that Pat’s exit will coincide with the return of Bianca and Ricky, and that her bad boy sons David and Simon Wicks, played by Michael French and Nick Berry, are set to return to EastEnders.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “We’re not going to comment. There’s been so much speculation and we don’t want to spoil the surprise for our viewers.”