THERE’S plenty of soap drama this week, with many of your favourite characters finding themselves embroiled in dramatic new plots
One thing that will DEFINITELY come as a surprise though is the news Harry Redknapp may well be joining the cast of EastEnders soon.
The 73-year-old real-life Cockney, who managed a string of Premier League clubs before wining I’m A Celebrity, is said to have impressed TV bosses despite having had no formal acting experience.
A source told the Mirror he had been locked in weeks of talks and is now set to sign a deal, saying: “Harry will be a great addition to EastEnders.
“Even though he has no traditional acting experience, his character and charm are more than enough to stand him in good stead on the show.
“And with him growing up in the real East End, it makes it even better.”
The Sun revealed last month that Harry was desperate to land a part in the BBC soap – pitching himself a role as Mick Carter’s sidekick.
For full details on the above storyline and more soap news, gossip and spoilers follow our live blog below...
EMMERDALE’S GABBY MOVES INTO HOME FARM
GABBY Thomas horrifies Jamie Tate by moving into Home Farm next week in Emmerdale.
Jamie savagely rejected Gabby this week and told her their night together was a drunken mistake.
So how will Jamie react?
CORRIE’S SIMON FORCED TO TAKE DRUGS BY GANG LEADER
SIMON Barlow is manipulated into taking drugs by his gang leader this week in Coronation Street.
The youngster – who is played by actor Alex Bain in the ITV soap – was forced into dealing drugs after getting into debt to his mate Jacob.
And this week, Jacob will bully Simon into sampling some of the drugs himself.
Toyah spots Simon and Jacob smoking a spliff in Victoria Gardens and tells Leanne what she’s seen, but Leanne is dismissive.
Will Toyah step in?
EASTENDERS’ KAT SLATER TAKES REVENGE ON PHIL
KAT Slater takes revenge on Phil Mitchell after overhearing him insult her to Ben this week in EastEnders.
Kat seduced Phil – who is played by actor Steve McFadden – while he was meant to be having a romantic dinner with his ex Sharon in a shock twist.
But this week’s episodes of EastEnders will see things turn sour between the new lovebirds as Phil betrays Kat.
Kat warns Phil that Kheerat is trying to steal a customer called Stas from the Mitchells.
But she regrets her actions when she overhears Ben making a nasty comment about her – and Phil agreeing.
Kat sulks about what she’s heard and, when she spots Stas, she hatches a plan.
EASTENDERS CHANGE FAMOUS THEME IN HONOUR OF MAX BRANNING’S EXIT
EASTENDERS ditched the ‘doof doofs’ last night in honour of Max Branning’s exit from the show after 15 years.
Jake Wood’s bed-hopping loverman and show favourite was played out with a rarely-used version of the soap’s famous theme.
As he left Abi and walked out of Albert Square in the rain, the little-played Julia’s Theme was used instead of the usual cliffhanger.
Named after Julia Smith, one of the soap’s creators, it replaces EastEnders’ dramatic drums with an emotional piano solo and a choir.
The ‘doof doof’ music is only ever changed for the departure of huge characters and the alternative theme used sparingly.
Different endings were also used for the departures of Barbara Windsor’s Peggy Mitchell and Pam St Clement’s iconic Pat Butcher.
CORRIE FANS HORRIFIED AS LEANNE LASHES OUT AT SON SIMON
CORONATION Street fans are horrified after Leanne Battersby slapped son Simon – and pushed him into drug dealing.
The grieving mother – who is played by actress Jane Danson in the ITV soap – lashed out at Simon after he tried to force her to realise that her son Oliver was dead.
She discovered he was responsible for the feathers she thought were signs from the afterlife.
After having a go at him, she realised he was doing it to help her.
But when Leanne insisted the first feather was from Oliver, Simon snapped.
The pressure of providing for his mum and keeping her sane burst out.
He said: “I’m sorry alright but he’s dead. He’s not sending you messages. You’re not communicating with him – he is dead.”
But it was too much for Leanne and she lashed out, brutally slapping Simon.
JACQUELINE JOSSA AND PIERS MORGAN LEAD TRIBUTES TO JAKE WOOD AS HE LEAVES EASTENDERS AS MAX BRANNING
Jake, 48, has played the role for 15 years, and after his final scenes aired, Jacqueline Jossa – who played his on-screen daughter Lauren Branning – paid tribute to him, writing on Instagram: “To the only other guy I call dad.
“Thank you for everything. I learnt all I know from you and had the best time playing your daughter. Goodbye for now max.
“I cannot wait to see what is in store for you next, and hope one day we will work together again. You are a legend @mrjakewood.”
Meanwhile GMB host Piers tweeted: “”One of the all-time great soap characters, and actors. Congrats
@mrjakedwood. what a run..”
EASTENDERS FANS IN TEARS AS JAKE WOOD LEAVES BBC SOAP AS MAX BRANNING AFTER 15 YEARS
The businessman was turned on by ex Linda Carter, his brother Jack and even Phil Mitchell got the upper hand on his blackmail attempt.
Realising he had nothing left in Walford, Max decided to take granddaughter Abi and leave.
On the way he saw the discarded picture of Bradley and ran into ex Stacey.
The pair shared a brief moment with Max telling her to look after Jean, and off he went – but at the last minute he realised he couldn’t take Abi with him.
“I just want you to be happy,” he said as he dropped her off at Rainie and Stuart’s flat.
Standing in the shadows Max began to cry as he watched Rainie take Abi inside.
Grabbing his bags he walked out of Walford for good, with fans left in tears at the emotional scenes.
EASTENDERS’ JACK BRANNING FORCES BROTHER MAX TO LEAVE WALFORD
MAX Branning flees Walford tomorrow night and it’s his brother Jack who demands he goes.
It was confirmed back in September that Max – who is played by Jake Wood in the BBC One soap – would be leaving as part of a huge new storyline.
And after a brutal rejection by Linda, it seems Max’s time on the Square is up.
Jack tells Max he must leave the Square after he blows up all of his relationships.
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