That’s just plain dumb Stacey!

Deciding to dump Max Branning is smart… deciding to take him back is so not, says EastEnders star Lacey Turner

Stacey was so shocked by her declaration of love to Max she decided to dump him… Er, why?

“Stacey’s not the sort of girl to tell somebody she loves them. She must have pretty strong feelings to risk opening up like that. So when Max didn’t say he loved her back she was gutted. Her way of dealing with it is to push him away and show him she doesn’t need him.”

But she does. And all it takes is one brief encounter and it’s affair on again. And Tanya of all people helps make it happen… “All the girls are at a knickers party when Tanya starts boasting about her sex life with Max and Stacey gets jealous – and very drunk. So drunk she collapses just as Max arrives to pick up Tanya. Tanya tells Max to look after Stacey and when they’re alone, he tells her that she’s special.”

Special enough to love? “He’s not saying he loves her but Stacey’s reading that between the lines. She’s vulnerable and it’s what she wants to believe.”

And so it’s back on – on Max’s terms. “He makes it clear he has no intention of giving up on his marriage. Stacey knows she will always be second fiddle, but she doesn’t want to be without Max.”

So how did that happen? Wasn’t the whole affair supposed to be about getting back at Bradley for dumping her? “To begin with it was just a way of hurting Bradley, but for Stacey it’s became much more than that.

‘I think she only really realised it though when Bradley said he wanted her back… and she knew she wanted Max, not him.”

Which leaves Max holding all the cards and calling all the shots. And Stacey his bit on the side and desperate not to lose him… “She even helps him when Tanya is about to find out about them. What happens is that Sean is sure Max is having an affair and drops him in it by telling Tanya to check his phone. But Stacey has tipped off Max and he’s deleted all trace of her. But it’s all a little too close to home!”

Wouldn’t things be a lot simpler and nicer for Stacey if she took Bradley back? Or is it really over between them?

“I don’t think it’s too late for Bradley and Stacey… even though she turned him down, there is still something very real there. But if Bradley ever found out about the affair, it would be a different story.”