Phil Mitchell in EastEnders has been the heart of the show since his arrival in 1990. He’s played by Steve McFadden who took a brief break from EastEnders in 2003, then returned in 2005.
Phil Mitchell in EastEnders
Phil arrived in 1990, quickly followed by his brother Grant, mum Peggy, and sister Sam. The Mitchell brothers became firm fan favourites with Phil initially being the ‘nice’ sibling compared with volatile Grant.
But Phil’s reputation as the good Mitchell soon took a battering when he had a passionate affair with Grant’s wife Sharon Watts.
Phil Mitchell and Sharongate
The reveal of their romance happened at Phil’s engagement party to Kathy Beale, when Grant played a tape in the Vic. He’d recorded Sharon and best friend Michelle talking about Shaz’s affair and he shared it out loud to the startled guests.
More than 25 million viewers watched ‘Sharongate’, and it’s still one of the most legendary episodes of EastEnders.
Phil and Kathy eventually overcame their difficulties and tied the knot, and Phil became a dad to son Ben. But when Ben contracted meningitis as a toddler that left him partially deaf, Phil struggled to cope.
He started drinking and eventually had an affair with fellow alcoholic Lorna, leading to the break-up to his marriage to Kathy.
Who shot Phil?
During 2000, Phil’s darker side began to emerge and by 2001 he was one of soap’s best (or worst!) villains.
He had several enemies on the Square, including his ex Lisa Shaw, her boyfriend Mark Fowler, Phil’s business partner Dan Sullivan, and fellow gangster – and love rival – Steve Owen.
Phil Mitchell in EastEnders was shot on his doorstep in March 2001, and a month later viewers discovered it was Lisa, mother of Phil’s daughter Louisa, who’d pulled the trigger.
The episode where Lisa was revealed as the shooter caused the delay of the UEFA cup semi-final between Liverpool and Barcelona so it didn’t clash with EastEnders!
How many times has Phil been married?
Phil Mitchell has been married four times. His first wife was Romanian refugee Nadia Boravac, who wanted a visa to stay in the UK.
He then tied the knot with Kathy, before having another romance with Sharon.
Phil met undercover policewoman Kate Morton when she was investigating his ex Lisa’s disappearance. He fell for her and saved her life when she got embroiled with another gangster, Jack Dalton. The pair married but when Kate gave Phil’s daughter Louise back to her mother Lisa, Phil couldn’t forgive.
When Phil’s son Ben came back from South Africa after his mother Kathy’s death (which we later found out was fake), Phil met Stella Crawford. She quickly became Ben’s evil stepmother, abusing the little lad when Phil’s back was turned.
On Phil and Stella’s wedding day, Ben revealed what his stepmum-to-be had been doing and thankfully stopped his dad tying the knot with his abuser.
There was a dramatic rooftop confrontation between Phil and his bride and Stella jumped to her death.
Phil almost married Shirley Carter, and Suzy Branning, before walking down the aisle with Sharon Watts.
Is Phil Mitchell a murderer?
Phil may run Albert Square through fear and intimidation, but is he a killer? The jury’s out. Phil’s been involved in lots of deaths but he’s pretty good at keeping his hands clean.
Phil set fire to the car lot back in 1994, so Frank Butcher could claim on the insurance. But a homeless man was hiding out inside and he died in the flames.
Phil also inadvertently caused the death of Dennis Rickman when he manipulated him into beating up Johnny Allen. Johnny then got one of his henchmen to kill Dennis in revenge.
And Phil was also responsible for Dennis Junior’s death, when his fight with Keanu caused the boat the Albert Square residents were on to crash.
And he also arranged the death of Luke Browning in 2017, when he ordered Aiden Maguire to scare him off and the gangster killed the younger man.
Phil Mitchell has three children – Ben, whose mother is Kathy Beale, Louisa, Lisa’s daughter, and little Raymond Dawkins.
Raymond was born to Denise Fox and originally put up for adoption. Phil helped Denise get him back when his adoptive parents were killed.
Phil’s also a grandad to Ben’s daughter, Lexi.
What next for Phil?
With Phil’s romance with Kat on the rocks (for now?) and things getting complicated with son Ben and his other half, Callum Highway, could it be time for the Mitchell crime lord to retire? We’re not taking bets, but what do you think? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.