Linda re­turns

Mick ar­ranges a sur­prise birth­day for his wife’s 40th – will it help get their mar­riage back on track?

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The Carters love any ex­cuse for a kneesup, and what bet­ter ex­cuse than Linda turn­ing 40 this week? But as Mick throws him­self into ar­rang­ing a sur­prise party for his mis­sus, he couldn’t look more ner­vous if the Queen were calling round.

And that’s be­cause a lot has hap­pened since Linda last popped back from Wat­ford, where she’s been look­ing af­ter her poorly mum, Elaine. For starters, frosty Fi is now hang­ing around The Vic like a bad smell, on ac­count of the free­hold be­ing sold to Grafton Hill. And, of course, Mick has mis­be­haved and played ton­sil ten­nis with daugh­ter-in-law Whit­ney.

‘Dis­tance has al­ready put a bit of a wedge be­tween Mick and Linda, and now there’s Mick’s guilt over his and Whit­ney’s kiss thrown into the mix,’ re­veals our Wal­ford in­sider. ‘He des­per­ately wants to get things back on track, and thinks that if he can make the party per­fect, it will go a long way to putting things right.’

As Mick throws him­self into the ar­range­ments, Shirley picks up on her son’s stress, and tries to help by sug­gest­ing an idea for Linda’s present. With her sup­port, he starts to calm down

– but events take a turn and he’s back on edge again.

As the Carters later gather in an­tic­i­pa­tion of

Linda’s re­turn, Mick’s stress lev­els are sky high, and it doesn’t help when Fi makes a sud­den ar­rival.

Will the big bash go as Mick has hoped – or will it send the Carter mar­riage fur­ther into the mire?

From Wat­ford to Wal­ford, but things aren’t what they were

Panic sta­tions: Linda helps

Mick

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