Deadly dinner

On the way out: Stacey (Lacey Turner) in EastEnders

On the way out: Stacey (Lacey Turner) in EastEnders

First published in Shoptalk

ALL Janine wants for Christmas is revenge. She’d like love rival Stacey trussed up like a turkey (stuffing optional) and shoved in the oven for several hours on a high heat.

Failing that, she’d like her behind bars. And she doesn’t mean the Queen Vic. Stacey has sinned and must pay the price – and ensure that EastEnders (BBC1) delivers its usual helping of Christmas misery.

Stacey’s wrongdoing isn’t so much bashing evil Archie over the head with the bust of Queen Victoria but cosying up to Janine’s husband Ryan – I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt – Malloy.

First, Stacey has his child. Then Ryan marries Janine before rekindling his affair with Stacey.

Troublesome teen Lauren gives Janine the present she wants – a mobile phone. Not just any mobile phone, but Lauren’s phone containing Stacey’s recorded murder confession.

Janine decides to use it to liven up the Christmas party in full swing at the Vic.

Mince pie and murder confession, anyone?

Janine marches in the pub and tells everyone they should know the truth about Stacey. She holds up the phone and presses play… If Stacey does end up in a jail cell she be sharing with Bee-anchor. She’s accused of stealing and then punching a policeman. The problem is lack of money to buy Christmas presents. It drives children Liam and Tiffany to nick perfume from the market (Eau de Walford – a particularly nasty smell, I must say) to give to their mum for Christmas.

When the police come calling, Bee-anchor assumes they’re on the scent of the scent-stealers. In fact, they’re looking for something else – and find it because Whitney has hidden some stolen jewellery for new mate Connor.

In the scrum that follows, Bee-anchor not only gives Old Bill a right mouthful but also a punch in the kisser.

As she and Stacey face time inside, a familiar face is out. Lock up your menfolk, Tracy Barlow has been released on bail pending a re-examination of the evidence in her murder trial.

Unlike Father Christmas, Tracy is not a welcome visitor in Coronation Street (ITV1) although she arrives by taxi not sleigh just as residents are singing at a carol concert to honour the victims of the tram crash. She comes out fighting, demanding daughter Amy back from Steve and Becky. So much for the season of goodwill to all men. More like ill-will when Tracy’s around.

A wedding in Emmerdale (ITV!) although the omens aren’t good. Remember how Tom King, the king of Kings, was defenestrated at his Christmas wedding?

Now son Carl, the one who pushed him through the window, is walked down the aisle with Chas. Little does the love rat know she intends to humiliate him at the ceremony by exposing his affair with Eve and telling him to eff off.

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