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Synopsis

It’s Lee’s birthday and the Carters are getting started on his birthday lunch. Aunt Babe arrives and after clocking that Stan has not told the family the truth, orders everyone to leave the kitchen – minus Stan. Once alone, Babe firmly tells Stan that it’s cruel for him not to be honest but Stan tells her to shut up; he’s not going to spoil Lee’s birthday. In the launderette, Cora gives Tina a card for Lee, stating that she won’t be present at his lunch.

When Tina brings up Stan, Cora acts coy and reminds Tina it’s nothing serious. Linda tells Mick that she’s off to Sharon’s to arrange tomorrow – they’re off out for the day, shopping. As Babe watches Stan having fun with the family, she looks on heartbroken, knowing something they don’t. Outside the Albert, Linda makes a phone call to the clinic – she has an appointment for a termination the following day. Linda abruptly hangs up when she spots Sharon. Linda apologises to Sharon for being snappy with her before; Sharon invites her in for a coffee and a chat. Mick, Tina, Stan and Babe discuss missing Shirley’s whereabouts; Stan is suspicious of Babe’s behaviour.

As it appears that Linda may be about to confide in Sharon, Johnny arrives and asks Sharon whether he can open up the Albert early that evening for Lee’s birthday – Sharon reluctantly agrees. Johnny’s visit breaks the mood and Linda goes to leave. When Sharon suggests spending the day together tomorrow, Linda fobs her off by lying that she and Mick are going up West. Babe calls the family upstairs for Lee’s birthday lunch. As Stan gives Lee an heirloom from his Grandfather, it’s too much for Babe to take. Stan gives a speech and tells the family how much he loves them. Mick overhears Babe tell Stan that ‘it’s not fair’ and questions what she means.

Babe pipes up – Stan’s got cancer. The family are shocked into silence. Stan initially purports that he lied about it, but Babe insists that it’s no joke and Stan eventually relents. Stan admits that he’s known about it for three years; Mick reels. When Mick questions how long he has left – Stan suggests looking forward to a good Christmas, which speaks volumes. Stan is fuming at Babe for revealing the truth and is adamant that he wants to carry on celebrating Lee’s birthday. In the kitchen, Dean admits to Mick how much he doesn’t want to lose him – and makes his anger over Shirley’s absence evident. When Tina begs that there must be something that can be done, Stan tells her he’s not going to put his body through chemo at his age.

As Cora watched Les and Pam work together in the Launderette, it gives her food for thought. Cora heads to the Vic and asks Stan out for dinner – he happily agrees. Cora clocks the bad atmosphere and questions what’s wrong. Stan tells Lee, Nancy and Johnny to head to the Albert to party. Sharon spots a down looking Mick and states that he doesn’t look very happy for a man being taken up West by Linda the following day – Mick looks confused. Mick questions Linda about his exchange with Sharon - Linda lies and says she’s going alone, Christmas shopping for him.

Cora overhears Tina and Tosh discussing Stan’s cancer – her face falls and she downs a brandy and leaves the pub. Stan finds Babe in the kitchen and accuses her of only ever doing what’s best for her – she’s a selfish vindictive woman. Stan grabs Babe by the wrist and calls her a hypocrite – she’s hiding Shirley isn’t she...

Stacey wakes up in Dean’s bed and realises she’s overslept. Stacey’s surprised to see that Dean has got Lily ready for school. When Lily asks Stacey whether Dean’s her boyfriend, Stacey brushes off the question. At the salon, Stacey isn’t happy when Lola suggests that Dean’s interested in one of the customers. Stacey heads out to find Dean on his fag break. Stacey admits to Dean that it’d never work between them – he drinks, smokes and flirts too much.

A forlorn Dean returns to the salon after Lee’s lunch – Stacey assumes he’s upset over her. Dean confides in her about Stan’s cancer and walks out of Blades. Stacey finds an upset Dean at the War Memorial and attempts to comfort him. Stacey admits that maybe she went too far that morning; Dean purports that he’d change for her and Lily. Stacey brushes him off and tells him to be with his family. Later, Stacey arrives back at the flat with a nicotine patch for Dean and tells him that if he gives up the habit, she might change her mind about she and him.

Credits

Stan Carter Timothy West
Babe Smith Annette Badland
Mick Carter Danny Dyer
Linda Carter Kellie Bright
Lee Carter Danny-Boy Hatchard
Johnny Carter Sam Strike
Nancy Carter Maddy Hill
Tina Carter Luisa Bradshaw-White
Fiona 'Tosh' Mackintosh Rebecca Scroggs
Dean Wicks Matt Di Angelo
Stacey Branning Lacey Turner
Lola Pearce Danielle Harold
Sharon Mitchell Letitia Dean
Cora Cross Ann Mitchell
Pam Coker Lin Blakley
Les Coker Roger Sloman
Lily Branning Aine Garvey
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