Angie tells Kathy about the divorce and Kathy says she can stay with her and Pete; Angie drinks and then tells Sharon about the divorce, so Sharon accuses Den of pretending everything was fine and says he is not her father; Angie says Den will hear from her solicitor and she and Sharon leave the Vic via the bar where everyone can see them going. Pete and Lou make amends when Pete says he will always spend Christmas with her in future. Kelvin leaves the party in the Vic to be alone with Carmel, but Hannah sends Cassie, Ian and Mary to Kelvin's flat. Pauline briefly checks on Arthur, but he says he is fine; he puts the children to bed, and Michelle visits with the cash she got for her motorbike; he asks about Vicki's father and her reasons for marrying Lofty; she says Lofty's love is real while Vicki's father was a fantasy; when Arthur is alone, he becomes frustrated and trashes the room, then breaks down. Pauline sees Den giving Michelle an envelope of cash and realises he is Vicki's father.


Regular cast

Guest cast


Filming locations


  • Originally this episode was numbered Episode 194B but was retroactively renumbered in 2009, when consecutive numbering became standard practice.
  • Final appearance of Delanie Forbes as Cassie Carpenter.
  • With Christmas Day falling on a Thursday, executive producer Julia Smith was asked for an extra episode to go out on the same night. Therefore, this episode was broadcasted at 10.00pm, four hours after the first part was transmitted.
  • This episode was given two special repeats both being transmitted on BBC Choice. The first special broadcast was on Sunday 20th December 1998 at 7.40pm and the second special was on Sunday 31st January 1999 at 7.10pm.
  • This episode marks the highest audience of all time for a British television drama, with over 30 million people tuning in which no other television drama has ever achieved up until this day, and it's still remembered as one of the most iconic episodes of any television programme.
  • The scene where Arthur has a breakdown and smashes up the living room of 45 Albert Square is replicated in 2007 by his (by then adult) son Martin on 23 January 2007. The sequence of destruction (dining table, sideboard, mantelpiece) is also matched.
  • When the channel Drama started airing classic episodes of EastEnders, this is the only episode the channel transmitted twice. The first being broadcasted on Wednesday 19th December 2018 and the second being Tuesday 25th December 2018 in honour of thirty-two years since the original broadcast.
  • In December 2012, the Radio Times took out a poll to vote the ten best Christmas moments on EastEnders and this episode, as well as part one, was voted number one. It was also voted 3rd in UKTV Gold's Greatest TV Christmas Moments.
  • Radio Times synopsis: 'They should bring back hanging for people like Den Watts...'
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 30,015,000 (1st place). This was the highest rated episode of the year.
  • This episode was included on the internet streaming album EastEnders: Christmas Specials released on Amazon Prime.

Eastenders Christmas Specials

This episode is available to buy from the selected retailers below.

Google Play
Note: We are not affiliate with any retailers and have not received any monetary incentives, this is purely to inform about the BBC's products.
December 1986 episodes
Tue 2ndThu 4thTue 9thThu 11thTue 16thThu 18thTue 23rd • Thu 25th (1 2) • Tue 30th
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.