Scripts for EastEnders Christmas specials were stolen during a burglary at a writer's home, the BBC said yesterday.
A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the soap's bosses are concerned the climactic plot details could be leaked on the internet after the writer's laptop was taken.
The festive special will see scheming Albert Square villain Archie Mitchell, played by Larry Lamb, murdered in the Queen Vic pub but the precise details of his death have been kept a secret.
The Christmas scenes have already been filmed and the actors and actresses destroyed their scripts after the shoot to prevent any leaks.
EastEnders' executive producer Diederick Santer said: "We're keen to get this laptop back as it contains all the twists and turns of our exciting EastEnders Christmas."
The festive double bill will be broadcast on Christmas Day and often accounts for the long-running soap's highest ratings of the year.
The 2007 EastEnders Christmas special, featuring the revelation of Stacey Slater's affair with father-in-law Max Branning, was the year's most-watched programme with 14.38 million viewers.
It is not the first time EastEnders scripts have been stolen. In 2004 a laptop was taken in a raid and in 2001 a computer was stolen, also during a burglary at the home of a script writer.Reuse content