Walford hard man Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) is to hit the bottle again in the wake of his kidnap ordeal at the hands of menacing Gavin Sullivan (Paul Nicholas).
Phil will make a comeback to the Square this evening, but will be seen begging Ben to get him booze. Could we be witnessing a return for Phil’s alcoholic ways?
“The reason why he’s gone back to drinking is because of what Gavin has done to him. Gavin is very cunning – he knows everyone’s weakness and uses it against them. And drinking is Phil’s weakness,” says actress Gillian Taylforth, who plays Gavin’s wife Kathy. “Steve McFadden is fantastic in these episodes.”
Harry Reid, who plays Phil’s son Ben, added: “Ben has only ever seen bits of Phil’s drinking in the early years. So Phil, in Ben’s eyes, is a strong man and a god. So when he now sees this weakness, it gives Ben some backbone. He loves his dad and wants to sort him out.
“It’s like a kick to the guts for Ben. You’ll see a reaction from him and he’ll man up.”
Earlier this month, executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said to RadioTimes.com that Phil’s kidnapping will have far-reaching repercussions: “What Gavin does to Phil while he’s off screen will take Phil in a whole new direction that will run into next year. We talked about doing for Phil Mitchell what we did recently for Ian Beale.”
As for the immediate future, it looks as though the Mitchell clan is set to have a Halloween to remember. Added the soap boss: “Our Halloween episode kicks off a lot of big things. There’s lots of stuff for Sharon, for Phil, for Stacey and Martin. A lot of things are kickstarted in this episode.
“What you’ll see is that Kathy and Phil have both been given panic buttons and everyone thinks that Gavin has gone. But of course not!”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of this week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
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