Coronation Street fans can look forward to a comic Christmas this year – but not before killer Richard Hillman attacks another unsuspecting resident in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.
This time his intended victim is pensioner Emily Bishop, left on her own after a freak accident with a Christmas pudding puts Norris in hospital.
And with Vikram Desai deciding to supplement his income by setting up a drug-running scheme, Weatherfield’s finest seem hell-bent on seeing out 2002 with a bang.
But, as ever, loveable loser Les Battersby is on hand to ensure a feast of seasonal cheer during the holiday period.
Gatecrashing Underworld’s Christmas party for the free booze, Les thinks he is in heaven surrounded by a factory full of drunken women.
But the joke is on him when the riotous staff force him to model the lingerie firm’s latest stock.
There is embarrassment for Jason Grimshaw too as he is forced to own up to his friends about his new job – dressed as an elf as one of Santa’s helpers in the local department store.
Elsewhere, romance is on the cards as Deirdre’s wayward daughter Tracy Preston turns up half way through the turkey and turns her attention to Weatherfield’s men.
But romance turns to mayhem when she ends up bedding her mother’s own Christmas conquest of last year, Dev Alahan.
Finally, there is a return for former Boyzone heart-throb Keith Duffy as rogue Ciaran makes a timely appearance at Peter and Shelley’s engagement party.
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: “Christmas this year is all about what Coronation Street does best – a fantastic mix of high drama and classic comedy.”