Eastenders’ Pat Butcher will die of cancer this Christmas in a typically jolly festive plot from the soap series.

Those who don’t want to be sniffling into their mince pies should be sure not to tune into the BB1 show as longstanding character Pat takes her bow.

Pam St Clement has played pat Butcher for 25 years. This Christmas her character will learn that she has cancer.

Not wanting to upset her friends and family, she organises a party at the Queen Vic and invites her sons David and Simon Wicks.

Pat breaks the news to the gathering, which includes Peggy and Phil Mitchell, who are stunned to hear that their friend in dying.

After telling everyone to have a drink and be cheerful, Pat slips out of the pub and goes home where she dies peacefully in bed.

An EastEnders source said: “There was no way bosses wanted Pat to sign off with a grisly death. It was always going to be a dignified farewell in which colleagues and viewers could raise a glass to her.”

On Twitter, one viewer wrote:

“Another delightfully jolly xmas lies in store for the residents of Albert Square I see, as Pat Butcher dies of cancer.”