Next week on EastEnders, two significant returns and a great tragedy for Whitney are revealed as 2024 gets underway in style.

Spoilers for the start of the new year on EastEnders are here. Two shocking comebacks and two brand-newcomers are sure to rock Walford.

The events of Christmas continue to rock the Square, especially in regards to The Six, but next week’s headlines will divert our attention from them and instead focus elsewhere.

Indeed, the program transports us to Paris, where we meet Lauren and Penny Branning (Kitty Castledine and Jackie Jossa).

Things quickly take a surprising turn for the two, and they soon decide to go back to Walford, which is a big choice.

When Penny returns to London, she heads to the Square, but Lauren is having problems since she doesn’t seem to be with her cousin.

Where exactly is she, I wonder? And what has come to pass?

That is yet up to be determined.

To the dismay of Elaine Peacock (Harriet Thorpe), George Knight (Colin Salmon) is approached elsewhere in the Square by Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins), who inquires as to if he is content with the decisions he has made in life.

But before he can respond, the patriarch’s parents, Gloria and Eddie, pay him two surprise visits.

Elaine is anxious since George’s response doesn’t match what she could have anticipated. However, he confides in Cindy after telling her that he was adopted, not Elaine.

With two comebacks, two new cast members, and some heartbreaking news, EastEnders starts off the New Year in style (Picture: BBC)

The biggest surprise, though, occurs later in the week when Gloria reveals a significant secret that upends the pub landlord’s entire universe.

So what exactly has she said? And why has George been so shaken by it?

These scenes from EastEnders will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 1 and Thursday, December 4.

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