EastEnders icon's exit 'sealed' as fans share same fear after two-word remark

-Credit: (Image: BBC)

EastEnders' stalwart Phil Mitchell, portrayed by Steve McFadden, might be heading for a tear-jerking departure, according to fans of the show.

Phil, who first graced our screens in 1990, has been at the heart of some of the soap's most memorable plots.

He is best known as the son of Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor), and brother to Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) and Sam Mitchell (Danniella Westbrook).

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Phil's character is also renowned for his numerous romantic entanglements with various inhabitants of Albert Square, located in the fictitious East London borough of Walford.

Recently, life in Walford has been anything but calm for Phil. Last year, he discovered that he was the secret father of Sharon Watts' (Letitia Dean) child Albie, while his other son Ben (Max Bowden) was incarcerated in the US, reports the Daily Star.

Phil has been pushing his family further away recently -Credit:BBC

The unexpected arrival of distant relative Mitchell Stevie (Alan Ford) earlier this year also unsettled Phil. Convinced that Billy's (Perry Fenwick) dad Stevie was "scum", Phil even planted stolen money on Stevie in an attempt to frame him.

In Wednesday's episode (July 10), Stevie revealed a shocking family secret - that Billy's mum didn't abandon Billy as he had been led to believe, but rather she took her own life after Stevie had an affair with Teddy's mum.

A distraught Billy then discovered that Phil had set up Stevie. Enraged, he confronted Phil, accusing him of trying to sabotage his potential relationships with his newfound family members.

Fans fear an exit or relapse is on the cards -Credit:BBC

Billy Mitchell delivered a stinging line to Phil in EastEnders, saying: "I'm not the runt of the litter anymore," and then pointedly added: "You are" before making a dramatic exit, leaving Phil Mitchell to stew in his solitude.

EastEnders aficionados are now bracing themselves for what could be a gut-wrenching plot twist for Phil. After the recent episode aired, social media was abuzz with speculation.

One concerned viewer speculated on X: "I wonder if Phil's loneliness storyline might lead to him having a relapse at some point."

Another fan expressed their unease, suggesting: "Feel like this leading to an exit storyline where Phil is going to go back on the bottle and drink himself to death with no one round him hope that's not the case because Phil is Eastenders to me but be great for Steve to enjoy retirement."

A third chimed in with their observation: "I think we've been in the midst of a Phil loneliness story for a while without realising. He's felt like the hanger on to Billy's unit since he and Kat split, he's lost Ben, alienated Jay and Cal, Sharon is wary and even Denise feels sorry for him! Next step? A relapse! ".

Yet another viewer predicted a dark turn for Phil's character: "I think we're going to get some kind of depression storyline coming for Phil especially this week. I've seen that he's going to slowly starting to push everyone away and he's going to start isolating himself from everyone."