Sharon and Phil are to reignite old passions this Christmas when they end up in bed together. But are they doing the right thing in restarting their relationship? And where does all this leave Phil’s former flame Shirley? Here, Letitia Dean reveals why she believes her character can really make a go of it this time with Phil – and why she has such fond memories of the pair’s original ‘Sharongate’ affair…
So, why has Sharon got back together with Phil?
There’s always been a very deep connection between Sharon and Phil because they know each other inside out. She likes to think there are no surprises with him, but he’s also got that edge that she’s always liked. There’s a familiarity there and he’ll help her to feel more settled in life.
Do you think she’s always loved him in some way?
Yes. There’s always been a deep affection. She did love him greatly, but when they first got together – when she was married to his brother Grant – that love was never allowed to blossom really. This is the first time they can really be together properly and she wants him warts and all. She wants him to always be straight, honest and truthful with her, so let’s see what happens with that!
And how does Sharon feel about Shirley?
She’s her nemesis, really. Sharon is very astute and she knows that Shirley meant something to Phil. I don’t think she wants to know too much about it, but I definitely think she’s wary about it.
So she now believes that Phil is definitely over Shirley?
She believes so, yes. She thinks that Shirley needs to move on and that she’s just quite bitter and jealous. Sharon has always been the love of Phil’s life, so Shirley needs to get over it. That’s the undertone.
How does she feel about moving in with Phil? Is it all happening too fast?
With Sharon, all things always happen too fast [laughs]. In the past, she’s always gone straight in there and dived straight in. But now her theory is better the devil you know. She thinks she knows him really well, plus she’s got a child and she wants that security. Plus she wants to get out of the B&B!
She also feels protected by Phil – when Sharon first came back to the square, after dumping her fiancé at the altar, he rescued her. So she feels safe with him, he’s her safety net. She loves him.
Will Phil be a father figure for Denny?
I’m hoping so and Sharon’s hoping so. Denny got quite attached to Jack and obviously that was over in a spit of a coffee in terms of a child’s life. So that made things difficult for her son and Sharon realises that. After all that stuff with Lexi, she knows that he’s a family man and she feels that it’s probably a very wise thing for her son as well as herself.
Has the rekindling of things between them been anything to do with Phil selling the Vic? Does the sale of the pub bring back memories?
Absolutely, because their first kiss was at the Vic. They’ve got so much history with that pub and Sharon’s been a support to Phil in terms of him letting go of all the ghosts and all the memories. She tells him it’s time to move on from it and he feels very supported by her.
Do you think their relationship is going to last?
I really hope Sharon and Phil have a good old go at it. I’m sure there’ll be bumps along the way, but I do think there is a great familiarity with it. When you’ve known somebody so long, it’s a lot easier isn’t it. But he still has the element of danger that she’s always loved, although I don’t think she really wants that danger in her life anymore. Whether she gets it again will be another story.
And do you have any favourite memories of Sharon and Phil from over the years?
It’s got to be Sharongate! When Grant found the tape about Phil and Sharon – I mean that was great stuff for us to do. It was real lust between them back in the day. I don’t think she’s ever lost that feeling for him and vice versa.