EastEnders fans discovered it was Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) who got murdered on the Christmas Day episode following a gruelling ten long months of speculation.
But the soap’s bosses used a very clever trick to keep the shock grisly Christmas death under wraps.
In scenes which aired last night, Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) brutally stabbed Keanu after a huge brawl broke out in the Queen Victoria pub.
But in pictures captured last month during filming, EastEnders bosses made sure to film scenes with Keanu – despite him being killed off – as a red herring, so that no one would suspect who was murdered in the nail-biting annual Christmas Special.
Keanu was pictured filming in and out of an airport to lead fans to believe he was possibly going to make a swift exit from the soap of his character’s own accord.
The clever trick EastEnders bosses used to keep Keanu’s grisly Christmas Day murder top secret before fans were left blindsided over his death has been revealed
In pictures captured last month during filming, EastEnders bosses filmed scenes with Keanu – despite him being killed off – so that no one would suspect he was murdered in the Christmas Day episode – a real red herring
He was also pictured filming alongside Jacqueline Jossa – who is set to reprise her role as Lauren Branning – in a graveyard
He was also pictured filming alongside Jacqueline Jossa – who is set to reprise her role as Lauren Branning – in a graveyard.
In the explosive episode on Monday, fans were left in complete shock over the unexpected twist, as they didn’t expect to see Keanu murdered in the final seconds of the episode.
Taking to X – formerly known as Twitter – fans shared their disbelief, writing: ‘I’m still in shock and dean upstairs and what will Nish do. how can I sleep after that.’
‘I’m still in shock! All my theories went out of the window! What a fantastic episode. #TheSix will always be iconic. Excited to see what happens next but we cannot lose Linda;’
‘I can’t believe Keanu died I’m actually still in shock #EastEnders;’ ‘I’m in shock at that episode f**k off EastEnders.’
While some fans are convinced they’ve spotted another twist which could suspect Keanu isn’t actually dead, they will have to wait and see if they’re speculation is correct in tonight’s episode.
The BBC soap made history in an episode back in February when they teased a flash forward, but kept the identities of the corpse and the killer a huge secret.
The wait was finally over for viewers as the Christmas Day murder victim and killer were revealed in shocking scenes, with a very unexpected twist.
Keanu was pictured filming in an out of an airport to speculate a possible departure of him escaping from his killer Linda
The pair were spotted chatting in a graveyard dressed in black ensembles – to try and convince fans Keanu wasn’t murdered
Fans were completely blindsided by what happened in the festive episode
The episode came to an explosive end as Denise Fox (Diane Parish) was seen hitting Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) over the head with a bottle as she tried to defend his wife Suki (Balvinder Sopal) from his abuse – but all was not as it seemed.
Though Nish first appeared to be dead, Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) burst into the Queen Victoria pub and upon seeing Nish’s body, became embroiled in a fight with Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) after their wedding was called off when his attempted kidnap of her son Albie was revealed.
Despite Nish seemingly having been revealed as the murder victim, Keanu tried to strangle Sharon as she told him she would send him to prison over his attempted kidnap of Albie if he said anything about Nish’s apparent death.
In a very unexpected twist, Linda then grabbed a knife and stabbed Keanu in the back in a bid to save Sharon’s life, with Suki being seen reviving her abusive husband Nish in the final moments of the episode.
Fans also shared their fears for fan favourite character Linda as they shared their concern about her fate following the murder.
The BBC soap opera made sure to keep fans guessing right up to the huge twist as a whole array of deceptions were revealed in the bombshell festive special.
Leading up to the killing, Sharon and Keanu’s wedding was completely thrown into chaos as two huge bombshells were dropped on the big day.
Though Nish Panesar was first bottled in the head by Denise Fox, it was Keanu Taylor who was revealed to be the murder victim as he was stabbed by Linda Carter in a massive twist
Fans were left in complete shock over the unexpected twist, as they didn’t expect to see Keanu murdered in the final seconds of the episode and Nish saved by Suki
The BBC soap made history in an episode back in February when they teased a flash forward , but kept the identities of the corpse and the killer a huge secret
Sharon’s ex Phil (Steve McFadden) first crashed the nuptials alongside Keanu’s sister Bernie Taylor (Clair Norris) as they told Sharon that he was involved in Albie’s attempted kidnapping.
Phil stormed into the church yelling: ‘Don’t do it. It was him, he was behind Albie’s kidnap.’
To which Keanu replied: ‘He’s just jealous ignore him. I’m your brother don’t do this.’
But Keanu’s sister Bernie also turned on him as she shouted: ‘You turned your back on us, we ain’t good enough for you. You can’t lie your whole life.’
Shocked by the news, Sharon made a swing at her husband-to-be and punched him while he stood at the altar.
After leaving the altar, Sharon said: ‘That day he went missing, the one person who understood and gave me some comfort was you. How could you do that!’
Keanu replied: ‘It wasn’t planned but you were going to take him and I new we could be a family together and I love you.’
Causing jaws to drop in a second bombshell, Sharon revealed to Keanu: ‘You threw your own mother under the bus. Albie ain’t yours, you ain’t his dad and thank god he doesn’t have your disguising genes. He’s Phil’s!’
The BBC soap opera made sure to keep fans guessing right up to the huge twist as a whole array of deceptions were revealed in the bombshell festive special
It first appeared that Nish would be meeting a violent end as Denise Fox hit him with a bottle when he tried to drag his wife Suki out of the Queen Victoria
Just as she revealed who her son’s father really is, Phil walked in and looked completely gobsmacked at the news.
He said: He’s what…. Albie’s mine. Is this true?’ to which Sharon replied: ‘It’s true I found out a couple of months ago.’
The wedding proved more eventful than expected as Walford’s leading ladies – Stacey (Lacey Turner), Suki, Linda, Denise and Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) – joined Sharon and headed to the Vic to process the events of the day.
The six women have all been wronged by the men in their life, which really kept EastEnders fans guessing throughout the year who the victim was.
Some EastEnders viewers had ruled out Phil Mitchell and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) as they believed they had not caused as much trouble as the other men in the Square.
Though they cheated on their partners, Nish and Ravi (Aaron Thiara) are murderers, while Keanu (Danny Walters) planned to kidnap his son Albie, Dean (Matt Di Angelo) raped Linda, and Tom ‘Rocky’ Cotton (Brian Conley) had a gambling problem.
While the girls enjoyed a drink, Phil determinedly turned up to the Queen Vic and told Sharon that he wanted to get to know Albie as ‘family means everything’ but she told him he is not going to ‘mess up’ her boy’s life.
Elsewhere, Suki managed to escape abusive husband Nish and came clear to the other women about her long-running affair with Eve in another huge reveal.
Denise looked horrified as Nish fell to the floor, seemingly lifeless as Sharon went over to check his pulse and declared that he had died
Though it first seemed that Denise had killed Nish, Suki was seen reviving him in the final moments of the episode in a very unexpected turn of events
Keanu burst in and saw Nish’s body, and then tried to strangle Sharon Watts as she threatened to send him to prison over his attempted kidnap of Albie if he said anything
She told the group of women as they gathered to support her in the pub: ‘It’s me and Eve, it’s who we are. We’re in love.’
Shocked, the other women all showed their support for Suki and tried to persuade her not to flee, insisting that her abusive husband should be the one to disappear as they urged her to invite him to the pub for a showdown.
Accepting Suki’s invitation to talk, Nish burst into the pub and said: ‘Merry Christmas ladies, what a pleasant surprise, Suki. If you’ll excuse us this is a private matter. Get your coat. C’mon.’
Cutting her husband off as the other women all stood around in support, Suki then told him that she is ‘leaving’ him and she ‘wanted him out of her house’.
Getting angry, Nish said: ‘Where’s Eve? Have you come to your senses then or has she well and truly brainwashed you. Do you think I’m going to listen to you lot.
The women all stood up for Suki and said: ‘What are you going to do, we are all witnesses. Go crawl back under your rock she doesn’t want to be your wife.’
Trying another approach, Nish started to beg Suki to stay by saying he ‘needs her’ and that he ‘loves her’ so much.
However, Suki had enough and turned away, prompting him to grab her and attempt to violently drag her from the pub, causing a huge fight to break out.
Not knowing what to do, Denise grabbed a champagne bottle off the side and hit Nish over the head, causing him to collapse to the floor, apparently lifeless.
In complete shock, everyone looked around at one another as Sharon walked over to check his pulse and declared: ‘He’s dead!’
The other ladies yelled: ‘Check again. Call an ambulance,’ as they all watched over.
Suki rushed over and started compressions while saying: ‘You don’t get the easy was out, no!’
Just as the drama unfolded, Keanu walked into the Queen Vic and saw Rish dead on the floor and yelled at Sharon.
Saving Sharon’s life, Linda picked up a knife from the side and forcefully stabbed him in the back in a shocking twist as Keanu was revealed to be the murder victim at the last minute
Fans shared their fears for fan favourite character Linda as they shared their concern about her fate following the murder
He said: ‘You just killed a man, where is Albie. You’ve just killed someone, you’re going to prison,’ before rushing off to try and take the child from her.
She replied: ‘You screwed your own family over and I swear to God, you will never lay eyes on Albie again, he is not your son.’
As she said those final words, Keanu grabbed her throat and started to strangle her, while the other women screamed at him.
Saving Sharon’s life, Linda picked up a knife from the side and forcefully stabbed him in the back in a shocking twist.
Keanu stumbled backwards in pain and quickly dropped dead to his knees.
As Keanu fell to the floor, Nish was seen taking a single breath as Suki gave him mouth-to-mouth – with his fate seemingly saved.
Suki ran into the room yelling ‘he’s alive’ as she resuscitate her husband Nish, only to lay eyes on Keanu’s body with a knife planted in his back.