It’s a week of epic proportions in the land of soap — particularly down Walford way — as EastEnders celebrates its 35th anniversary, and it does so in a huge fashion with a week of special episodes that will see one mainstay lose their life aboard a party boat, while over in Coronation Street, James Bailey (Nathan Graham) decides to come out to dad Ed (Trevor Michael Georges).
Meanwhile, over in Emmerdale, Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) shoots a resident of the village, while there’s sizzling chemistry between Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) and Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe) in Hollyoaks.
1. The day of the much-discussed boat party arrives, but there’s little reason to celebrate, as Mick is still struggling to comprehend the fact that he signed the divorce papers. Linda revels in her divorce but Shirley interrupts her, and the pair come to blows. A drunk Linda sets her sights upon Mick in Whitney’s company, she becomes paranoid and instructs the coach to leave without them.
2. Bobby opens bout the online bullying to Iqra and Habiba, and — later — they’re harassed by a group who recognise Bobby and thus they racially insult them. Bobby defends both himself and Iqra and Habiba, but things escalate as the young man is left fighting for his life.
3. Bex is left shaken when she sees the commotion with Bobby unfold, and she later tells Dotty what happened. However, Dotty reveals that she knows who’s been Bobby’s online bullying — leaving Bex shocked. Ian receives a text from Bex informing him of who’s behind the bullying, and he sets off to the party boat in search of revenge.
4. Ben goes to extreme lengths to prevent Keanu from killing Callum. Meanwhile, Phil is on the warpath over Keanu’s actions, and thus he decides to take matters into his own hands and begins to threaten Karen in order to find Keanu.
5. Sharon informs Dennis that they’re leaving Walford for good, but her plan is stopped in its tracks as a result of Ben. However, matters are made worse as Sharon soon goes into labour.
6. After receiving a call from Ben, Kathy calls Peter and asks him to come to the hospital and keep an eye on Bobby.
7. Denise encourages Jack to be honest with Max about the fact that he’s been helping Lauren after her split from Peter — and he eventually does just that. However, Max isn’t too pleased, and things get violent as Jack ends up punching his brother.
8. Fiz confides in Evelyn that Jade is hoping to take Hope to the crafts workshop in the community centre, but that she has no interest in taking Ruby. As a result, she decides to take Ruby herself. However, Hope makes it clear that she prefers Jade’s company to Fiz’s, and Fiz is naturally hurt as a result.
9. Christine shows up in the hopes of arranging another visit with Jade, but — fed up of the arrangement — Fiz decides to lie and thus makes out they’re all setting off on holiday.
10. Gemma gets a call later in the week which confirms they have a last minute appointment for Aled’s hearing test, and she decides to go for it. However, she’s later devastated when audiologist confirms that Aled has profound hearing loss in both ears. Chesney and Gemma attempt to take in Aled’s diagnosis, but Gemma struggles, as she learns that her son’s been deaf since birth — which means he’s never heard her say she loves him.
11. Chesney drops Joseph off at sports club. Later, he meets Kevin who reveals that sports club isn’t on — and Chesney’s horrified. He races back to the place where sports club was due to take place, but there’s no sign of Joseph, so he proceeds to search high and low for him.
12. James musters up the courage and reveals to Ed over the breakfast table that he’s gay. Ed struggles to process the news, but he’s more hurt by the fact that both Michael and Aggie knew. Later in the week, Ed is convinced that Danny has corrupted James.
13. Abi’s worried about Ray reporting her to the police, and thus Kevin informs her that it would be in her best interests if she were to invent an alibi, and she decides to do just that, as she asks Sally she’d vouch for her. Ray sees Kevin and Abi looking cosy and reveals that some new evidence has come to light, therefore their days are numbered.
14. Maria later admits to Carla that she slept with Ali, but claims that she regrets doing so, as she wants to be with Gary. As a result, Maria reveals to Gary that she’d love to marry him — and he’s elated as a result. When they announce their engagement, Ali puts on a brave face and shakes his hand. However, he later visits Maria and begs her to reconsider.
15. Moira reveals to Matty and Victoria that she’s signed the divorce papers, but Victoria encourages her to talk to Cain once more.
16. Cain discovers the body of a dead sheep in the fields and rushes back towards the barn, and he ends up shooting a man approaching Moira, whom we’re led to believe is a rustler. However, when the flashlight is shone in his face, it’s someone whom they seemingly recognise.
17. Vanessa is taken hostage by Pierce, and her attention soon turns to Johnny’s whereabouts, as she begins to fear that her captor has hurt him. Pierce soon switches the baby monitor on, and Johnny can be heard laughing and giggling — much to Vanessa’s relief — but the evil man threatens to turn the device off once more if she doesn’t follow his rules or if she steps out of line once more.
18. Will orchestrates a kids fun blaster fight, but matters get out of hand when Lucas enters the room holding a real gun instead of a blaster gun — something which leaves Billy worried. Will is horrified at what has unfolded, but Billy patiently manages to get Lucas to hand the gun over to him.
19. Rhona attempts to convince Charity to reconcile with Vanessa, but Charity decides that it would be better for her to stop checking her phone for responses from her girlfriend.
20. Paddy pays Marlon a visit in prison and updates him on the status of the ‘Free Marlon’ campaign. However, that’s not the only reason for his visit, as he asks him to be Eve’s godfather.
21. Brooke starts having contractions and thus she goes into labour. Her labour lasts all night, and Ollie is more excited than ever at the prospect of going to the hospital, but he’s angered when his dad cannot go with him, and thus he resolves to go on his own. Brooke later gets stressed, as nothing is going to plan but Ollie arrives and puts her at ease, before his baby boy arrives.
22. Mercedes returns from Spain to discover Warren in her flat with two women — and it’s safe to say she’s not pleased. Warren takes delight in winding her up over the situation, as she decides to throw him out, but as the animosity grows, so does the chemistry and the electricity between the two — but will there be passion?
23. Desperate for money, Maxine goes to Liam, and he offers her a job at the salon. Maxine gives Lisa a job but she continues to be hounded by her landlord, and thus she seeks out Liam once more and asks him for an advance. She agrees to see his associate Clayton again, so Liam buys her some new furniture — not to mention a red dress so that she can entertain the young man.
24. Liberty reveals she’s interested in getting away and clearing her head, and Damon’s concerned, and this tells Brody that she’s leaving with his baby.
25. The opening of the Cunningham’s Grand Bazaar arrives.
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