What has she said? (Picture: BBC)
We know and the rest of The Six know that a drunk Linda is a dangerous one, as one tiny slip-up could see her confess that she murdered Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) on Christmas Day and then hid his body in the cafe with help from Sharon (Letitia Dean), Suki (Balvinder Sopal), Stacey (Lacey Turner), Denise (Diane Parish) and Kathy (Gillian Taylforth).
Understandably, the horrific ordeal is impacting Linda’s mental health so to block out her emotions, she’s started drinking again.
In upcoming episodes, Linda reaches for the bottle once more but this time, best friend Alfie is around to try and support her.
Which is where things get risky.
‘Of course Alfie has no idea what’s happened over Christmas’, Shane Richie explained.
‘During a conversation, Linda explains she’s done something awful and she says something to Alfie which gives him some pause for thought. But given Linda’s drunken state it’s up for debate how much he actually takes on board.’
‘I think with him coming back and Alfie losing Kat to Phil, and of course Linda losing Mick, I think they’re both lost souls that have no direction in their life at the moment.’
Linda turns to drink to numb her emotions (Picture: BBC)
Linda says a bit too much! (Picture: BBC)
At the start of next week, Alfie heads to the hospital for his final radiotherapy session after receiving his prostate cancer diagnosis.
‘It’s been tough for Alfie, especially trying to keep it all a secret as the only ones who do know are Kat, Phil and Linda’, Shane said.
‘Linda is pressuring Alfie to let more people know and let them in, but in typical Alfie fashion, he doesn’t want to burden anybody. He’s had 20 years of holding onto other people’s problems and secrets, and now he’s got one of his own. Alfie over the years has always been one for sharing problems and advising others – a problem shared is a problem halved – but Alfie isn’t listening to his own advice on this one. I think it’s been a bit of a downward spiral seeing Alfie going through that turmoil in keeping it to himself.’
He added: ‘When I was first approached to do the prostate cancer storyline I asked Chris [Clenshaw, show producer] if we could do a scene where Alfie wets himself in front of people, because it happened to a friend of mine who went through prostate cancer.
‘Alfie realises he needs to go to the toilet but he can’t make it in time, and instead of explaining what is going on he loses his temper and shouts at Patrick and Billy. When it happens you can see the embarrassment with Alfie, but even then he still lies about why it’s happened.’
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Reflecting on the impact the storyline has had so far, Shane told us:
‘I totally underestimated the impact the show could have. Being given the opportunity to shine a light on this particular disease has been an honour, but also its opened my eyes to how common it is. Of course I’ve had messages, but I’ve had people stop me in the street who have said “thank you so much for shining a light on this”. One gentleman in particular saw what Alfie was going through this and told his family as a result.
‘He said watching EastEnders gave him the strength to do it. If we can make a difference and shine a light on prostate cancer, it’s worth it.’
It could all start to unravel.