Linda Carter will hit the bottle as she struggles with family pressures
Linda Carter is to be at the centre of a hard-hitting alcoholism story in EastEnders this Autumn, with the Vic landlady and struggling mum turning to drink to help her cope with mounting family pressures.
Show bosses have worked with the charity Drinkaware on the forthcoming plot, which is set to hit screens in the coming weeks.
Linda has been faced with numerous challenges this year. Not long after husband Mick was released from prison, having been wrongly charged with shooting Stuart Highway, she and her other half discovered that youngest son Ollie could have autism.
More recently, she suffered a cancer scare following an abnormal smear test, and has also been confronted with the worrying discovery that Mick has been suffering from panic attacks.
As she tries to put on a positive front, Linda will be seen turning to alcohol to help her cope; a problem which soon spirals out of control.
Says EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen: “This autumn, the Carters will face one of their biggest crises to date when Linda turns to alcohol to escape the increasing pressures of her family life.
“Linda’s descent into alcoholism will be instantly recognisable to many – a journey that begins with a single drink to cope with the everyday ups and downs but quickly escalates to a point which wreaks devastation on their life and the lives of those around them.
“In telling Linda’s story, we hope that anyone in Linda’s situation or those around them notice the signs of alcoholism and seek the help needed.”
Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, adds: “Feeling pressure to drink, having a drink to celebrate or drinking to cope or relax – these are all common situations that many adults would recognise.
“The fact is the overwhelming majority of people don’t have a serious problem with alcohol. But it might surprise you to know that you don’t always have to be drinking to extreme levels to become dependent on alcohol. What’s more, regularly drinking above recommended levels can lead to a range of health conditions.
“Working with EastEnders on this storyline will help us put a spotlight on the potentially harmful result of getting into the habit of drinking regularly. Credit to the script writers who are sensitively showing the journey of how easy it can be for someone to develop risky drinking habits. Linda’s experiences with alcohol demonstrate why it’s important to be able to recognise signs that you, or someone you care about, could be developing drinking habits that could cause harm to themselves or others.”
This isn’t the first time EastEnders has shone a light on alcoholism. Back in 2013, teenager Lauren Branning turned to drink while mum Tanya was suffering from cancer, and quickly became a full-blown alcoholic.
Meanwhile, Phil Mitchell has long battled alcoholism, and was diagnosed three years ago with cirrhosis of the liver; the Walford hard man narrowly escaping death thanks to a liver transplant.
EastEnders continues on BBC1.