EASTENDERS fans were left confused today as the soap aired their iconic Max and Stacey Christmas episode in the middle of the UK’s summer heatwave.
The scenes saw Max Branning dressed in a full Santa Claus costume as the Branning and Slater families learned the truth about Max and Stacey’s sordid affair.
The episode originally aired as one of two parts on Christmas Day in 2007, and included several now-departed characters including Stacey’s brother Sean, uncle Charlie, and Max’s long-suffering ex-wife Tanya.
Max’s son – and Stacey’s husband – Bradley was also a pivotal role, and while viewers were thrilled to have so many Walford classics back on their screens, they couldn’t get over the festive scenes airing in scorching August.
Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: “How surreal and wrong does it feel watching a Christmas episode at the start of August?”
Another added: “In EastEnders it’s already Christmas”.
A third said: “No way they’re showing a Christmas episode in August”.
One more joked: “Oh Christ! Did I sleep in ’til Christmas?!! #EastEnders”.
Others were disappointed that the episode they chose to air was the aftermath, and not the first part that showed the tense build-up to the families finding out.
Max’s daughter Lauren had accidentally filmed her dad snogging Stacey – just moments before she walked down the aisle to marry his son Bradley.
The pair also discussed their ongoing love affair in the video, which Lauren had burnt to a DVD to gift to Stacey on Christmas Day.
The teen had a change of heart and tried to stop Stacey from opening the present, but it was too late – and both Stacey and Max’s entire families gathered around the TV to watch the drama unfold.
Tanya slapped Stacey before breaking down in tears and chucking both her and Max out of the house – she then tried to kiss Stacey’s brother Sean as he comforted her on the sofa.
Meanwhile, Jack tried to support his nephew Bradley, while the Slaters returned home to discuss the fallout.
The episode ended with Tanya dramatically falling down the stairs and banging her head as Max tried to stop her from leaving with the kids.
EastEnders has been airing a different classic episode each week after running out of pre-recorded shows amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All soap production was halted back in March, and while it has since resumed filming new episodes are not expected to be ready until next month.