Cast Changes News

Phil Mitchell is on his way back to Walford – and much sooner than we expected

EastEnders - April-June 2017
© BBC

After almost six months away, Phil Mitchell is set to make his much anticipated return to the London Borough of Walford.

Phil and wife Sharon went abroad to mend from his liver transplant. However, Sharon returned without him a few months ago, explaining that he’d be going to visit Grant in Portugal for a little while.

In reality, Steve McFadden (who has played the Walford hard-man for over twenty seven years) took an extended break to pursue other projects. Since then, he has made various appearances at different nightclubs nationwide.

Harry Reid, who plays McFadden’s on-screen son Ben, revealed that Phil’s return will take place in the coming weeks, as the actor has already returned to filming for the soap.

o-EASTENDERS-BEN-MITCHELL-facebook
© BBC

Speaking on Phil’s dramatic return, the show’s executive producer, Sean O’Connor, said: “Phil returns in a moment of crisis for the Mitchells. But he is a changed Phil from the exhausted lion that left the square. Steve McFadden is a mesmerising actor. Every scene he does with absolute commitment and conviction. It’s amazing to watch how he does it. He’s great at rage and pent up aggression, but he was at his most moving after the death of Peggy. And when he told Sharon that he loved her just before he was taken away for his liver transplant on Christmas Day was so touching.

‘It has been very rewarding finding fresh material for Phil. His days of being a hard man are coming to an end and he has had a real wake-up call after the transplant. He knows that he has a second chance now and it’s given him food for thought. Has he had a good life? Can he right the wrongs of the past? And even if he wants to, does he have the time to do it?’

EastEnders continues Monday at 8pm on BBC One.

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Tommy Giffen