EastEnders SPOILER: The truth about Max Branning revealed at last

Will he have any friends left?

Max Branning has been plotting against pretty much everyone in Walford for months now.

Determined to get his revenge on everyone who he feels stitched him up and saw him falsely imprisoned for Lucy’s murder, Max (Jake Wood) has been scheming with Weyland to take over and wipe out Albert Square.

But now daughter Lauren (Jacqueline Osborne) has discovered his criminal intentions – and next week so will everyone else.

And he will be left to pay the price for all his lies, when his family, former friends and neighbours all turn their back on him.

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It looks like Ian could be about to discover the truth about Max’s involvement in the fire at Beales’ which led to Steven’s death – and Jane’s departure.

And the Carters angrily confront Max in The Vic, as they realise he has been working with Weyland to get them evicted.

As all of his secrets and lies are uncovered throughout the week, the businessman will find himself ostracised and shunned by everyone.

Only brother Jack still seems to be standing by him, urging Max to build bridges with his daughters Abi and Lauren.

Although presumably Jack doesn’t yet know that Max was behind Charlie Cotton turning up to take his stepson Matthew from him.

Next Thursday will see a special episode centring on the Brannings, as Max and his daughters deal with the fall-out of his lies and deception.

While Max faces up to life as an outsider, it looks like there will be no chance of a happy Christmas for him.

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Award-winning writer Simon Ashdown, who helped bring the Brannings to the screen, is returning to the show for the first time in four years to write the Christmas episodes.

The series executive consultant John Yorke said: “I’m delighted to welcome one of EastEnders’ greatest writers back to the show.

“Simon has delivered some of EastEnders’ biggest moments and I hope people will agree that his Christmas episodes are right up there with his very best work.”

A show insider told Digital Spy: “With Christmas rapidly approaching in Albert Square, things are set to explode in catastrophic style. Secrets and lies are exposed and families are torn apart forever.”