You can always rely on EastEnders to supply the antidote to seasonal joy.
And on Tuesday, Phil Mitchell – the anti-Santa – started dishing up the traditional sleigh-load of Christmas misery.
We got the lot – GBH, kidnap, attempted murder, false imprisonment, wheezing without a licence…
Ageing hardman Phil hurled Jack Branning into the Arches pit, doused him in petrol, tried to set him alight, and for good measure aimed an illegal shooter at him – all before the watershed.
Don’t try this at home, kids.
And guess what? Jack didn’t press charges because Ben promised him a Mitchell “favour”. Yeah, right.
Branning, a cop since his days at Sun Hill, could batter them both.
Steve “Phil” McFadden is one of the soppy soap’s giant stars – no-one plays drunk better than him. Even the Hulk thinks Phil has temper issues.
But how long can Walford’s geriatric gangster keep winning? He’s been shot twice and survived car crashes and drowning.
He’s been beaten to a pulp – once by his own bruvva. And if memory serves, Jack punched him into that same mechanics’ pit six years ago.
But trying to top a cop? If Phil doesn’t go down for that, it’ll be an affront to morality as well as justice.
He must be banged up to show kids what’s right (and to create a vacuum for a younger, tougher psychopath to fill). Phil has his big showdown with Miss Piggy on Christmas Day. He knows she’s carrying another bloke’s sprog, although as all babies look like Phil, no-one would have sussed if Sharon hadn’t blabbed…
Imagine the grief that’s coming when he finds out it was Keanu! Merry Christmas, folks!
Are Shirley Carter’s plot ideas lost in the producer’s spam folder? All she does these days is drink and snarl. (Welcome to my world, Shirl).