EastEnders confirms new rival for Elaine Peacock

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders has confirmed a new rival for Elaine Peacock.

The co-owner of The Queen Vic will soon clash with legendary character Yolande Trueman over the handling of Walford's Christmas choir.

In scenes airing next week, Elaine takes control of planning a Christmas event sponsored by The Vic. Soon, her family are feeling stressed by Elaine's very high expectations for the party.

At the same time as planning for The Vic's festive celebration is going on, Yolande starts organising the Christmas choir ahead of their seasonal performance.

elaine peacock, yolande trueman, eastenders

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Yolande has trouble recruiting enough members for a full choir, so Elaine muscles in to take over the recruitment drive with promises of free booze.

This drives a wedge between the two women, as Yolande resents Elaine for taking control of running the choir without even consulting her.

Harriet Thorpe, who plays Elaine, has revealed that The Vic landlady's involvement in the choir initially comes about completely by chance.

denise fox, yolande trueman, patrick trueman, eastenders

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"Sonia suggests it to Yolande at the Christmas lights switch on, and Elaine thinks it’s a wonderful idea and that she should be running it," she said.

"It makes complete sense, what with her life experience professionally and creatively. It's an outrage that Sonia suggests Yolande should run the choir because Elaine's huge talent for community spirit, as she sees it, is being overlooked."

The friction between Elaine and Yolande may be stressful for viewers, but Thorpe has said it was "divine" to film the scenes where the two clash.

"Elaine and Yolande slightly cross swords regarding who should be 'the leader' of the choir," Thorpe said. "These are two women trying to highlight their potential, and it's very funny. There is very theatrical attention-seeking on both parts! They are both fuelled by their egos, and in those moments, nobody else exists."

george knight, elaine peacock, eastenders

The actress credited EastEnders producers with showcasing female friendships on the show — even if Yolande and Elaine don't necessarily get off on the right foot.

"It's absolutely vital. For example, Kathy and Elaine are great together, and I have the most fabulous time working with Gillian Taylforth," she said. "These two characters support each other but have no filter most of the time and can speak very honestly to one another. That's wonderful and core to friendship because you should always tell the truth to your friends.

"It's those moments that matter. Plus, Elaine and Kathy have a mature understanding of life experience."

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

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