Phil Mitchell to be diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in Eastenders
EastEnders' Phil Mitchell, played by Steve McFadden, is set to be diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
Viewers of the BBC One soap have watched Phil struggle to control his alcohol addiction over the last few weeks.
The downward spiral will lead to his life-threatening diagnosis.
EastEnders has been working alongside the British Liver Trust, as well as other experts in the field, to ensure the storyline is portrayed as accurately as possible.
Andrew Langford, chief executive of British Liver Trust, welcomed this plot development.
"In the UK, the prevalence of liver disease has increased by over 400% in a generation, so it's fantastic that EastEnders have decided to highlight how people can quite literally drink themselves to death," he said.
"It is important, however, for everyone to understand that drinking too much, like Phil, can easily lead to alcohol dependence or addiction and severe, if not fatal, liver damage."
The storyline will begin in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, bosses of the BBC One soap have also announced a re-casting which will see Hollyoaks actress Carli Norris portray Belinda Slater.
The latest Slater to re-visit Albert Square does so as part of Kat (Jessie Wallace) and Alfie Moon's (Shane Richie) big return to Walford.
Last seen at their wedding in Christmas 2003, when Belinda was played by Leanne Lakey, the troubled Londoner is now back at another pivotal moment in her sister's life.
The siblings have long had a fiery relationship so their reunion is sure to ruffle feathers.
Talking about her role, Norris said: "Becoming one of the Slaters is an absolute dream, especially to be part of such a big and important storyline. It's brilliant to be working with Shane and Jessie."
The newcomer will make her EastEnders debut in the new year.
Eastenders will also see a birth and a death this Christmas as Stacey gives birth at the nativity and one character will die in a Range Rover crash, but who?