EastEnders bosses have confirmed Mick Carter is about to confront his past, as he faces up to the devastating sexual abuse he experienced as a child.
The former pub landlord, played by Danny Dyer, was shaken by the arrival of Frankie Lewis (Rose Ayling-Ellis) in Albert Square, feeling threatened by her interest in their family.
However, Mick was in for a shock when Frankie revealed she was his daughter, naming her mother as Katy Lewis.
Mick has always been the bedrock of his family, recently helping wife Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) as she battled alcohol addiction, though upcoming scenes see him undergo an emotional trial.
Tonight's (October 12) episode of EastEnders saw Tina Carter ( Luisa Bradshaw-White) reveal Katy was their care worker when they were taken into care as children.
Doing the maths, Frankie realised Mick must have been 12 when he met Katy, horrified by the age difference between her mother and father.
Mick refused to accept what happened between himself and Katy as abuse, and assured Frankie it wasn't what she thought.
However, upcoming scenes will see Mick reflect on his encounters with his care worker, coming to realise he was sexually abused by the adult.
The realisation will take its toll on his mental health, as he grapples with feelings of confusion and upset as the past comes back to haunt him.
As Mick begins to accept he was a victim of child sex abuse, he suffers from panic attacks, highlighting the heartbreaking, and lifelong, impact of abuse.
EastEnders bosses worked with two charities in developing the harrowing storyline – NSPCC and SurvivorsUK, a specialist service for male and non-binary sexual violence survivors.
Discussing the upcoming storyline, the soap's Executive Producer Jon Sen said: "Viewers have always been aware that Mick spent many years in care, which has been the cause of his fractured relationship with Shirley but now the audience will discover just why Mick's childhood has been so traumatic.
"This storyline will see Mick having to confront the demons of his past, something he has desperately tried to avoid for many years and face up to the realisation that he experienced abuse whilst he was in care.
"Our work with SurvivorsUK and NSPCC has been vital in informing and grounding Mick's story very much in reality. We hope this storyline will help to challenge the perceptions, the stigma and the shame – particularly experienced by male survivors."
Eastenders airs on Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One.
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