5 storylines EastEnders could show when it returns – Gray dies and Covid crisis?

Unlike Coronation Street and Emmerdale, which have both stayed on air throughout the pandemic, EastEnders has opted to take an unprecedented break these last few months. Fans have been missing the show like mad, but might this transmission gap end up working out in EastEnders’s favour?

When the show returns later this year, writers will be able to depict a very different Albert Square, full of unexpected surprises and crises. So how might the lives of its residents have changed? We imagine five fantasy scenarios…

Mick’s coronavirus crisis

With many families across the country having been directly affected by Covid-19 or known someone who contracted the illness, it seems statistically likely that someone in the Square will be suffering. The jump in time would allow for a moment of gasp-inducing horror as ‘episode one’ opens on a camera panning up from the foot of a hospital bed as we eventually realise that Mick has come close to losing his life.

Danny Dyer has already revealed that he’s about to perform his “best ever” storyline. What if the Carters – just at the moment that they were getting their marriage back on track after leaving the Queen Vic – now had to cope with coronavirus?

Stacey’s secret lockdown with the Slaters

When we last saw Kat, she was hastily exiting the Square to aid an unknown person. What if the character in need of help was Stacey, who had been finding it hard to cope with the kids after being abandoned by her new man Jerome? Deciding that there was no other option, Kat snuck Stacey and the children back to the Slaters’ house under the cover of darkness, only for lockdown rules to suddenly be imposed.

With no one allowed to leave the house, the family has easily been able to keep Stacey’s sudden return a secret. But as restrictions are eased, will word accidentally spread? We need look no further than Kush, who appears to be wrestling with his conscience when it comes to keeping best mate Martin in the dark about Stacey’s comeback.

Abuser Gray is killed

It’s thought that cases of domestic abuse have risen by 20 per cent during lockdown and, back in June, the UN described this increase as a ‘shadow pandemic’. Evil solicitor Gray had already demonstrated the depths to which he’d sink, so just imagine how terrifying life has been for Chantelle these last few months.

With Chantelle now enduring daily abuse, a pressure-cooker situation is about to boil over. At the end of ‘week one’ of the all-new EastEnders, Karen and Mitch could make an early-morning call to No 1, eager to share their idea of the Taylors and the Atkins ‘bubbling up’ following this protracted period of separation.

But when they overhear screams coming from inside the property, the pair burst in to find Chantelle cowering on the floor and Gray looming over her. In the resulting fight, Gray is killed – but who has wielded the fatal blow? And will a conspiracy of silence prevent the true facts from emerging?

It would certainly make for a gripping and topical storyline to pull viewers back in and highlight the terrifying predicament of abuse in lockdown.

The Queen Vic reopens


Ian Beale is used to lording it over his neighbours thanks to his status as Walford’s money-making entrepreneur. But with his restaurant, the chippy and the Queen Vic having been closed since March, he’s seen his profits dwindling away. Now, he and pub landlady Sharon sense the opportunity to turn things around with a beer garden outside the Vic. But the erecting of pink parasols is merely a distraction, as the pair have some tough decisions to make.

Staff they’ve furloughed may now have to be made redundant, and it could be Tracy who Ian puts in the line of fire. Will the plan drive a wedge between Ian and Sharon? Are the residents of the Square set to rise up when they hear of Tracy’s possible dismissal? And will Dotty take advantage of an already fraught situation by giving Sharon another big reason to fall out with her new business partner?

Kim’s couture PPE

Humour can be found in the direst of circumstances – and if there’s a laugh to be had, Kim Fox will locate it. Back from Scotland and raring to get Fox & Hair up and running again, Ms Kimberley Harmony Angelica Fox-Hubbard could be seen trying to convince sister Denise to wear some bespoke PPE that they’ll be wearing while styling clients. Cue some classic exasperated eye-rolls from Denise – only this time from behind a protective visor.

As we said at the top, this is all pure speculation and we want to be surprised along with everyone else. But if there isn’t at least a half-hour special depicting Ben and Callum’s heartfelt lockdown Zoom calls to each other, then we’ll be storming Elstree in search of answers…

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