Lucy Beale
Paddy Power has opened the book on who killed EastEnders character Lucy Beale, played by Hetti Baywater. BBC

Paddy Power has opened the book on the 'who killed Lucy Beale' EastEnders storyline and has made Max Branning the most likely culprit.

The bookmaker has joined the whodunnit merrygoround by offering odds on 30 of the BBC soap's characters, ranging from 2/1 for favourite Branning to 50/1 for the eyes and ears of Albert Square, mainstay Dot Cotton.

Speculation over who kills Beale has been mounting in the build-up to Friday's episode, with some punters reckoning father Ian Beale will eventually be found responsible for his daughter's death.

Best friend Lauren Branning is also on the shortlist of suspects, which will be narrowed down over the next year to coincide with the show's 30th anniversary in 2015.