BBC EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell’s dramatic real life from 5 kids to devastating split from co-star

As EastEnders' Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) contends with issues in his marriage to new wife Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace), we take a look at the soap star's dramatic real life behind the scenes

EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) only tied the knot back in September, but it would appear the honeymoon phase is already very much over. Kat’s close friendship with ex-husband Alfie Moon (Shane Ritchie) has long made Phil feel antsy, and the hard man wasn’t exactly thrilled when, in recent scenes, he stumbled upon the pair sharing an emotionally charged hug.

Viewers will no doubt recall that shortly before the wedding, chalk and cheese rivals Phil and Alfie made a pact to keep each other’s secrets. Phil wouldn’t tell Kat about Alfie’s cancer diagnosis if Alfie agreed to keep schtum about Phil’s night of passion with Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit). Now Alfie has come clean to Kat about the full extent of his health concerns, EastEnders fans can’t help but wonder how long it will be until certain other truths come to light.

As Phil begins to panic about his future with Kat, we take a look at actor Steve’s life away from Albert Square, which has included plenty of soap-worthy drama over the years.

Parenthood and joyful ‘surprise’

Steve McFadden attends the Inside Soap Awards at The Hippodrome on October 3, 2016 in London, England

Steve tends to keep his private life out of the spotlight 



Steve, 64, is a proud father of five children, born to four different mothers. Eldest son Matthew was born in 1986, during Steve’s marriage to childhood sweetheart, Sue Marshall. After rekindling a romance with old flame Angela Bostock, Steve welcomed his two eldest daughters, Teona and Mollie Jane, born in 1997 and 2004 respectively.

Fourth child Amelie Tinkerbell entered the world in 2009, during Steve’s relationship with Dr Rachel Sidwell. Although Maida Vale-born Steve tends to keep his private life out of the public eye, Amelie’s birth prompted him to speak candidly about the joys of fatherhood. Showing evident delight during an interview with OK! magazine, Steve said: “I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. I can’t wait to start having more now. The day she was born was one of the greatest of my life.”

His youngest daughter Frankie arrived in 2016, and the little girl is understood to have been a wonderful “surprise” to Steve and his current partner Karen Cairns. A source told The Sun at the time: “Steve and Karen are both over the moon with little Frankie. Her pregnancy did come as a surprise, but now they are both really happy.”

Co-star split


Steve and Lucy were an item onscreen and off 


Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock)

Phil marches Lisa down the corridor. Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN), Lisa Fowler (LUCY BENJAMIN)

Lucy has previously opened up about working with her former flame 


BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Steve and co-star Lucy Benjamin were of course involved in one of EastEnders’ most shocking storylines of all time, with the ‘Who shot Phil?’ whodunnit keeping viewers glued to their sofas. After much speculation, it was eventually revealed that Lucy’s character Lisa Fowler had turned a stolen gun on Phil as revenge for his mistreatment of her during their stormy relationship.

Behind the scenes, Steve and Lucy were also involved romantically, dating from 1999 to 2003. Lucy left the soap at around the same time as the split, but went on to make various appearances over the years, including in 2010, 2017, 2019 to 2020, and 2023. Fortunately, it would appear that there is no bad blood between the former couple, with Lucy previously opening up about their amicable working relationship during a 2017 appearance on Loose Women.

Lucy reflected: “It was strange really, but lovely to be working with Steve, Tish, and Natalie Cassidy again. It was just like being with mates. They have been doing fabulous work and I knew that they would look after me and have my back upon my return.”

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