Christmas is coming and you know what that means in soapland – it's almost time for the year’s most explosive and shocking storylines.

EastEnders promises to be no different this time around. In typically dark Walford fashion, this Christmas villainous Max Branning will try to kill Albert Square’s long-time resident and fan favourite Ian Beale.

[Emmerdale spoilers: A Robron reunion this Christmas?]

Max is out for revenge after being framed and imprisoned for killing Lucy Beale. Now that he’s out, he’s hell bent on destroying the Beale family.

eastenders christmas storyline

He was partly at fault for the death of Ian’s stepson Steven, who he had not only manipulated into starting the devastating restaurant fire but he also pushed him against a table – causing a fatal injury.

And let’s not forget he left Jane Beale to burn to death, only to then visit her in hospital to warn her to leave the Square for good. In terrifying scenes, he told Jane he would kill both Ian and Bobby if she got in contact with either of them.

However, it looks like Max is intent on killing arch enemy Ian regardless of Jane’s actions. A BBC source told The Sun that Max is determined to bump Ian off before the New Year is rung in.

“In the run-up to Christmas, Max is a man on the edge and takes matters in his own hands when he tries to kill Ian," said the source.

“How Max will try to finish him off is not clear yet, but the episodes are set to be gripping.”

But would EastEnders really kill off their longest-serving character? Adam Woodyatt has been playing Ian Beale since EastEnders first aired in February 1985 - his departure would really make 2017 a Christmas to remember.