Christmas is just around the corner, bringing with it plenty of drama in soapland.
We take a look at what is coming up in Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale over the festive season.
Corrie producer Kate Oates told the Radio Times magazine that the ITV soap’s biggest gift this year is the return of Carla Connor.
The character, played by Alison King, was last seen in Weatherfield in May 2016 and is due back over the festive season.
Oates said: “Usually no stranger to a bottle of red wine, Carla is now sticking to soft drinks, but why? And will she help Aidan out in his time of crisis?”
Elsewhere, she said “Billy’s halo has become just a little bit tarnished over winter thanks to details of his shady past coming to light”.
But there will be happier times for Steve, who will be waking up on Christmas morning with Tracy Barlow.
“Not that Amy and Simon are all that pleased at this joyful union – in fact, they’re going to do their best to make sure they never get back together, the killjoys,” said Oates.
One of the highlights will be Bethany, whose high-profile grooming storyline has been making headlines for months, embarking on a tentative romance with Craig.
Max will take centre stage in the BBC soap this Christmas, according to creative director John Yorke.
In “one of the biggest stories we have ever told on EastEnders”, viewers will see how Max’s past actions come back to haunt him.
“The Branning family and their wider clan will be at the heart of the drama, as all of those involved in the plot to buy up and build over Albert Square get their spectacular comeuppance.
“The story kicks off at the end of November and rapidly builds to a Christmas climax – with the events on Christmas Day laying down the shape of Albert Square for years to come,” said Yorke.
Fans will also see Mick and Linda fighting to save their home and marriage, and the Taylors are confronted by a long-lost member of the family.
Meanwhile, Kathy finally puts her demons to bed…
Yorke said: “So there’s a lot of big drama, a lot of big heart and quite a few laughs besides.”
Emmerdale’s Christmas Day episode will be a “slightly nightmarish but also really funny” mixture of Groundhog Day and A Christmas Carol, according to series producer Iain MacLeod.
The episode will focus on Robert and Aaron.
“It’s a turning point in their relationship, but the audience shouldn’t make assumptions about where things go from there,” said MacLeod.
“For me, Robert and Aaron are on opposite ends of a piece of elastic that will never break. At the moment, they’re far apart, but the tension will yank them back together in relatively short order.”
There will also be hope of Cain and Moira reuniting and Emma Barton’s killer will be revealed in the run-up to Christmas.
MacLeod said: “As for the new year, I can confirm that we are doing something spectacular with the Whites in January.
“In fact, January is one of the most rollercoaster months we’ve ever done and the White family will be a major part of that – but you’ll have to wait and see as to whether they die…”