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Christmas Day at the Vic has unexpected consequences for Angie after Den gives her an important letter. Pauline begins to suspect the identity of Vicki's father, while Christmas cracks Arthur up.

Ian is thrilled to get a motorbike and accessories for Christmas.

Arthur unexpectedly emerges for the Fowlers' Christmas dinner and afterwards, Pauline thanks him although she knows he put on an act. Arthur says he could not ruin everyone's day.

Colin spends Christmas on his own, choosing to work.

Hannah and Tony realise they have to let Kelvin do what he wants, so they invite Kelvin and Carmel to Christmas dinner.

Den, Angie, Sharon, Ethel, Tom, Simon, Pete, Kathy and Pat have dinner in the Vic but Simon leaves when Pat makes comments about her first Christmas married to Pete, and he goes to the Fowlers'. Later, everyone apart from Arthur gathers in the Vic to celebrate and Den and Angie dance, but privately, Angie says she is feeling weak and cannot keep up the performance all the time. Den agrees, revealing he heard her tell the barman on the Orient Express about her "big black lie", calls it the "sickest joke" she has ever played and reveals the letter saying he has filed for divorce.




Angie Watts (to Kathy, about Den): D'you know what's the best Christmas present? Me and him still being together. There was a time you know, in the not too distant past, when I nearly lost him... Cos he was worried about me... Worried about the state of me health... he cared... he loved me enough to stay.


Den Watts: How dou you fell?

Angie Watts: How do I feel? Ambushed. […] Thanks for the best Christmas ever, Den.

Den: Our last one.

Angie: You don’t regret staying with me, do ya? I don’t want more big today of all days but it scares me. I don’t think I can keep up this performance twenty-four hours a day.

Den: Oh, you could keep this performance up for a lifetime. Like on the Orient Express. Like in the bar, chatting up the barman. 'Oh, I've told my husband this terrible lie. Not a little white one, but a big black one'. Remember Ange? Because I do, because I was sitting four feet away from you lapping up every word. Six little months to live. Six tragic little months, and poor old Angie's gonna pop off. That has got to be the sickest joke you've ever played, and Den Watts fell for it. Well now the joke's on you. This, my sweet, is a letter from my solicitor telling you that your husband has filed a petition for divorce. It also tells you to get yourself a solicitor pretty damn quick. Happy Christmas, Ange.


  • Radio Times synopsis: "Nothing can go wrong, Den. I want this to be the best Christmas we've ever had at the Vic..."
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 29,550,000 viewers (2nd place).
  • Originally this episode was numbered Episode 194A but was retroactively renumbered in 2009, when consecutive numbering became standard practice.
  • This episode was broadcasted at 6.35pm due to the Christmas Day schedule.
  • This episode was given two special repeats - firstly on BBC One at 8pm on 3 March 1995 along with Episode 1 in honour of the shows tenth anniversary and secondly on BBC Four at 8pm on 22 December 2007 as a tribute to the Christmas storylines over the years on the show.
  • This episode was included in the internet streaming album EastEnders: Iconic Exits, released on Amazon Prime.
  • The last scene is mirrored thirty-four years later when Linda Carter serves her husband, Mick, divorce papers in the very same place (7 February 2020).
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