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Giving and decieving; With Max and Tanya at the centre of another explosive Christmas, actress Jo Joyner talks about the wedding and her own celebrations.

Byline: TONY STEWART MIRROR SOAP CRITIC

Are you pleased to be such a big part of the Christmas story, Jo?

It is always a real honour. You wait your turn. Every year it is great, and a couple of families take it in turns to be at the forefront. We have been looking forward to it - and it's been worth the wait.

Is this episode everything you'd hoped it would be?

Leading up to and surrounding it has been so full on. It is actually everything everybody has come to expect from an EastEnders Christmas and I am really looking forward to watching it. It's a real roller coaster. With so many storylines peaking, it is one thing after another.

Is Tanya happy about getting married to Max for the second time?

She is. Last year it was tainted with her cancer treatment and the uncertainty, so now they have everything to look forward to. She's excited. It marks a whole new future.

Can they trust each other now?

Throughout their 18 years together, they have had differences within their relationship. When he came back last time and lay on her bed, he knew that the deal was she might not be very well and they wouldn't be jumping into bed every five seconds. She thought, "This is a different level we are on now".

Away from work, what gets you into the Christmas spirit?

I love every single last bit of it. I love the open fires, all the food and wine and, most of all, being with the family. To get into the spirit, I will put a Christmas song album on, have a glass of red wine and decorate the tree, then I know Christmas has begun.

Where will you be spending it?

With the family. There will be 16 of us. My brother is cooking this year. He is a great at it - his Yorkshire puddings are amazing.

What's top of your twins Edie and Freddie's wish list?

Edie wants a wee-wee doll. It is a doll that wees and that's what she calls it. She also wants pyjamas for the doll, as well as a little radiator that she can warm the pyjamas on. Freddie would like a guitar. A blue one. He also wants a microphone. A blue one. And a tree. A blue one.

Is your husband good at choosing presents for you?

Yes. The best present Neil got me was a surprise trip to New York.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

This year we will be having a party at home with a few good friends - it means the kids can all collapse when they like and it'll probably end in some drunken sing-song!

What are your resolutions?

Rather than resolutions, I have little ambitions. I always make a list of things I'd like to achieve in the New Year. I've managed to tick them off every year. This year's is quite long as I'm coming out of the blurred baby years. But it's a private thing - I couldn't tell you what they are!

Finally, in EastEnders will there actually be a wedding?

There are a couple of wedding dresses and bridesmaids at the ready, and a very pretty Walford. It is a really goodlooking Square this Christmas...

TONY STEWART MIRROR SOAP CRITIC

There are weddings in Coronation St and EastEnders, the untimely death of Derek Branning, and romance and murder in Emmerdale, so we're promised a cracker of a Christmas - with the shockwaves going into 2013.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2012
Words:724
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