Eastenders star Steve McFadden has been left battered and bruised after a brawl outside a pub.
Steve, who plays hard man Phil Mitchell in the soap, was forced to take two days off work to recover from the beating.
The incident occurred while Steve was on a night out in Falmouth, Cornwall. The 48-year-old actor has a holiday home in the coastal town.
A source said: “He was pretty banged up. He walked away with a black eye.
“The guy he argued with is a big bloke. He obviously took exception to Steve.
An EastEnders spokesman said: “This is a personal matter.”
After waiting for bruising to subside, Steve was back at work yesterday. Show bosses had to order scenes to be rewritten and delay some shooting because he had a black eye.
The real-life beating follows an EastEnders plot in which Phil Mitchell urged thugs to fight him. Viewers watched drunken Phil go looking for punishment, after his failure to protect his young son from his ex-fiancee’s bullying.
Reformed alcoholic Phil nursed his sorrows by drinking, before being beaten up by two thugs in an alleyway.
Steve has played hotheaded Phil, on and off, since 1990.