Spoilers: Linda ends up in hospital amid Lee's return in EastEnders at Christmas

Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) has been turning to alcohol in EastEnders as a method of coping with all of the stress she’s been under, which resulted in her getting arrested for driving under the influence — not to mention receiving a nine-month driving ban — but the festive season is set to see her reliance on booze spiral out of control to a whole new degree, and she ends up in hospital as a result.

After realising how serious Linda’s drinking was becoming, Mick (Danny Dyer) attempted to curb her drinking habit — to no avail — but he’s hopeful during the festive season, as she promises to cut back during the New Year. Pleased with Linda’s resolution, Mick reveals that he’s got a surprise lined up for her.

With the ‘Ball and Change’ winners dinner on the horizon, Linda makes an effort and dresses up as a result of what Ruby (Louisa Lytton) had previously said — but she soon realises that the younger woman was merely joking, and she’s left embarrassed as a result.

Linda seeks solace in alcohol once more and, as she continues to drink, she exchanges some harsh words with Ruby. Left with no other choice, Mick pours Linda’s drink down the sink — an action which leads to her exploding.

Yes, an intoxicated Linda berates Mick for what he’s done, but she soon realises that Ollie has overheard everything, and she’s left feeling ashamed. As a result, she heads off on her own and continues to drown her sorrows, before falling asleep beside Arthur’s (Bill Treacher) bench.

As she does so, Mick’s Christmas surprise has turned up at The Vic. Yes, Lee (Danny Hatchard) is back.

The Carters are incredibly worried as Linda is nowhere to be found, but — unbeknown to them — she’s hit rock bottom and thus ended up in hospital as a result. However, Mick ignores his concerns, and is determined to ensure his family has a good Christmas, but his worries prove too much, and he ends up having a panic attack.

Speaking about Linda’s battle with alcoholism, Kellie said: ‘The thing about Linda is that when she is drunk, you see a side to her you’ve not seen before and it’s very unpredictable, dark and dangerous. I think her drinking gets as bad as it could.’

Will Mick discover that Linda has been hospitalised?

What’s more, will he be okay himself?

One to watch: Wednesday 25th December at 9:30pm on BBC One.

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