EastEnders has been blazing a trail since its very first episode in 1985, and over the years since it’s brought us a remarkable number of TV firsts, not least when pivotal character “Dirty” Den Watts was assassinated then mysteriously reappeared only to be murdered again some years later.

But now online rumour and gossip is circulating, that if true, will knock everything that’s ever gone before into a cocked-hat.

**SPOILER ALERT!**

It’s being said that show stalwart Ian Beale is to be abducted by an alien spacecraft as he’s taking a shortcut across Albert Square en-route to The Queen Vic… but that’s just the half of it!

Hapless Ian will then have every orifice probed by the extraterrestrial visitors, with the whole strand culminating in a post-watershed XXX two-hander where he has full-on sex with an alien female. The fruits of their union spawning a mutant race that will ultimately enslave Walford then wage bloody war with the neighbouring borough of Balham.

One show runner preferring no to be identified said: ‘Imagine Dr Who meets 50 Shades of Grey, well double that intensity and you might be just halfway to what’s coming up. Top brass are expecting to catch a lot of flack over it, but their attitude is that we’ve been missing out on ratings to Corrie big time so we needed a red tops headline-grabber.’

Meanwhile a spokesman for Coronation Street commented: ‘This is cheap sensationalism at its very worst! I’m glad we don’t need to lose our show’s reputation and integrity using these kind of grubby tactics. I mean can you ever imagine such a storyline involving Albert Tatlock? Nudity and alien sex? Come on! He would never have contemplated doing a scene where he even had to remove his flat cap.’