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Synopsis

Belinda despairs as she receives a letter about debt management. Nestled in the post is a birthday card from her friend Maggie – Belinda tears up as she reads it. Stacey checks with Belinda whether she’s okay; she hands the keys back for Elysium to the estate agents today. Belinda claims she’s fine and states that she’s thinking of asking Masood out on a lunch date. When Stacey moans at Belinda about the amount of stock left in Elysium that they need to shift, Belinda loses it, reminding Stacey that she has everything. It’s news to Stacey when Belinda wails that it’s her birthday. Martin arrives home to find a sobbing Belinda, who admits that starting a business was just a way of trying to replace her marriage. Martin tells Belinda to focus on the positives – she needs to sort out her date with Masood. As Masood takes out his phone to call Zainab, there’s a knock at the door –it’s Belinda, she wants a picnic lunch with him and won’t take no for an answer.

Masood arrives at Number 31 with a picnic hamper and clocks that Belinda is in tears. Masood reads Belinda’s birthday card from Maggie – Belinda explains, she was her best friend school and they had a pact to run away together if they never got married. Masood suggests that she calls her. Belinda plays Masood at his own game and tells him that he should call Zainab – he obviously cares on some level. Belinda sets a deal – she’ll call Maggie if he calls Zainab; they shake on it. Belinda is given food for thought when Stacey arrives home and reminds her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. After a nap, Stacey finds Belinda waiting outside with her bags packed – Maggie is picking her up and they’re heading to Italy. Maggie arrives and an upbeat Belinda says her goodbyes to the Fowlers, before driving out of Walford. Back home, Masood calls Zainab and offers a supportive ear.

Jay arrives at Billy’s early and corners William, asking if he’s told Billy about what he saw in the Funeral Parlour. William is firm with Jay, telling him to give back the rings that he’s stolen. Jay heads to Number 27 to ask Ronnie for a loan. When Jay refuses to tell her what it’s for, Ronnie refuses. As he leaves, the dealer he owes money to, Mike, clocks Jay and chases him down Bridge Street. Jay manages to outrun Mike, but knows he won’t be safe for long. Roxy’s floored when Jay tries to rob her money belt - she clocks that Jay may well be in trouble. Mr Simpson arrives at the Funeral Parlour and asks to see his mother. He’s in shock when he’s shown her body – where are her rings? As he brands Billy a dirty thief, Jay arrives with the rings, claiming that he had them cleaned professionally. Mr Simpson is placated and states that it’s a solid gesture. Jay arrives at Walford Park to Mike and his gang, admitting that he doesn’t have the money. The gang close in on Jay…

Denise is on the phone to Zainab – who makes her promise not to tell Masood what she’s disclosing. As a late Denise gets to work and helps herself to a pasty, she is caught and berated by the Minute Mart’s new area manager; Harry Beckett. Masood enters - Denise pulls him to the side and informs him that Zainab’s husband is leaving her; Masood can’t hide his smugness. When Harry clocks Denise’s pregnancy, he’s shocked and sends her home. Denise is outraged – she needs the money. Denise arrives home and confesses to Patrick that she’s lost her job; she’s desperate for Libby not to know. Patrick assures Denise that they’ll get by. Libby pulls Patrick aside and shares that she can tell Denise isn’t being honest with her. Libby asks Patrick outright; does Denise want her to leave? Later, Libby tells Denise that she dug the truth out of Patrick, she knows what happened at the Minute Mart. Libby firmly tells Denise her rights – due to the hours she’s worked, she’s entitled to maternity pay. Denise is grateful, especially when Libby offers to draft an email to HR threatening legal action if they don’t reinstate her.

In the café, Geraldine tells Kathy that everyone’s keen to do a production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, as Kathy suggested. Geraldine laments that it was also suggested that she step down as director and that Kathy take over.

Credits

Jay Brown Jamie Borthwick
Billy Mitchell Perry Fenwick
Honey Mitchell Emma Barton
Roxy Mitchell Rita Simons
Ronnie Mitchell Samantha Womack
Kathy Sullivan Gillian Taylforth
Martin Fowler James Bye
Stacey Fowler Lacey Turner
Bex Fowler Jasmine Armfield
Belinda Peacock Carli Norris
Masood Ahmed Nitin Ganatra
Denise Fox Diane Parish
Libby Fox Belinda Owusu
Patrick Trueman Rudolph Walker
Will Mitchell Freddie Phillips
Kamil Masood Arian Chikhlia
Janet Mitchell Grace
Geraldine Clough Gwyneth Strong
Mike Rendon Bailey Patrick
Brett Simpson Steve North
Harry Beckett Mark Bagnall
Maggie O'Shea Zee Asha
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