EastEnders hardman Phil Mitchell trapped into marriage by a psycho bunny boiler? You couldn’t make it up! Well, maybe you could says actor Steve McFadden

What’s happened to Phil? In the good old days he was the main man. But now his squeeze Stella is tormenting and terrifying his son and he hasn’t a clue. And even when Ian finds out and tries to tell him he’a having none of it, is he?
“At Abi Branning’s birthday party Ian discovers Ben is covered in bruises and Ben tells Ian that Stella did it. But when Ian shows and tells Phil, instead of instantly believing him, he instantly doesn’t. He thinks it’s all down to their feud. He’s convinced Ian has primed Ben to frame Stella to get at Phil.”

As it happens Stella didn’t physically cause Ben’s bruises… but she did still cause them. As part of her warped plan to make Ben psychologically dependent on her, she told him to stand up to the school bullies and that she would be there to protect him. And she was there, but not to protect. Instead she watched as they beat him up to teach him that if he doesn’t do just what she wants, bad things will happen!
“Phil knows none of this but he’s certain Stella wouldn’t lay a hand on Ben. And when he demands the truth from Ben he admits he lied and that it was the school bullies.”

Which puts Ben right back in Stella’s power. This time she’s going for the big one and manipulates Ben into telling Phil he wants her to be his new mum!
“Ben tells Phil he wants him to marry Stella and when Phil doesn’t immediately agree he works himself up into a right state. He gets really upset about it and sobbing, asks Phil why he won’t marry Stella. Stella’s been clever because she’s found Phil’s Achilles heel.She knows he’s so desperate to be a good dad to Ben, he’ll do virtually anything for him.”

But marriage? Wouldn’t a PlayStation and a new bike be less of a commitment?
“The thing is Phil is in love with Stella. She’s not his usual type… he’s gone for brassy blondes in the past, but that’s always blown up in his face. Phil believes Stella is a nice, intelligent, middle-class woman and in her he sees a good companion and a mum for Ben.”

Of course she’s none of those things. What she is is a master manipulator and to speed up Phil’s proposal, she cunningly tells him that Ben is upset because he knows she’s been offered a job in Manchester. The implication is that Ben doesn’t want to lose her and nor should Phil, and – horror of horror – it works!
“He plays right into her hands and asks her to marry him. What he doesn’t see though is the look in her eyes when he says that he wants her to be Ben’s new mum!”

So how far will it go before Phil finds out? And what will he do if and when he does? Will we just get more Phil the softie or will Phil the ‘ardman finally resurface?
“He will definitely find out but I don’t know what he’ll do. He might try and throttle Stella or perhaps he’ll have a nervous breakdown…”