EastEnders has teased the fate of Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden) as he needs to make a life-changing decision.
Recent events have seen him hand himself in to the police, but fans are questioning if he will be leaving the show for good.
This comes after some cast members have already confirmed they will be leaving the BBC soap opera in the next few months.
What is happening with Phil Mitchell?
From 17 January, the latest episode of EastEnders revealed Phil Mitchell is facing life behind bars for his role in the death of Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood) in 2018.
A discovery was made last year by Hubbard’s wife, Kim (Tameka Empson) which, with DI Keeble’s (Alison Newman) help, led to the arrest of Phil.
Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) persuaded Phil to hand himself in after he was trying to leave, by convincing him he’d only do a few years in jail.
However, in a shocking twist, Phil is now in danger of spending the rest of his life in jail for his role in Vincent’s murder.
Phil has been given an ultimatum. DI Keeble has offered Phil a deal to be an informant, and in return, he will walk free, but being an informant goes against everything he believes in. However, if he was to reject this deal, he’d be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
This has led to fans speculating whether Phil Mitchell will be leaving the show. With a deadline of just 24 hours to make his decision, Phil will have to decide what path he wants to take, with Phil turning to Ritchie (Sian Webber) to make his decision.
McFadden temporarily left the series in 2003 before making a permanent return back in 2005. His character, Phil, is one of the longest standing characters and one of the protagonist villains since the 1990s.
Which cast members are set to leave?
Amongst the drama with Phill Mitchell, other members of EastEnders have made a decision to leave the show.
Danny Dyer has announced he will be leaving the BBC soap opera after nine years on the show.
Dyer, known as Mick Carter, is a staple character in the show as the Queen Vic’s landlord, and in true fashion, Mick Carter will be making an exit filled with “plenty of explosive drama”.
According to the Sunday Mirror, Dyer will now be appearing in a Sky Drama, after they “gave him an offer he can’t refuse”, reported to be worth six figures.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Danny will be leaving EastEnders when his contract comes to an end later this year
“Danny has made Mick Carter an iconic character, which we shall always be grateful for, however, we won’t be saying goodbye just yet as there’s still quite some time – and plenty of explosive drama for Mick – to come before he departs Walford.”
Ruhtxjiaïh Bèllènéa joined the cast back in 2020, as the character Mila Marwa, and has announced to be leaving just over a year since her arrival.
She first appeared as a barmaid before becoming a character in her own right and being at the centre of one of the heaviest and hardest-hitting stories on the show.
Over time, it became clear that Bèllènéa’s character, Mila, was a victim of Female Genital Mutilation, and when it became clear that Mila’s young sister was going through the same thing, she decided to take action.
Her storyline is said to be reaching its natural conclusion as her relationship with Iqra (Priya Davdra) crumbled and her mother Nyangi Marwa (Lucy Vandi) has been arrested on child abuse charges.
Who has recently left?
Playing the role of Tiffany Butcher since 2008, at the age of eight, Maisie filmed her character’s last scene back in October, but her character’s leave was in December 2021.
After being a regular in EastEnders for 13 years, Tiffany Butcher left Walford to live with her brother Liam in Germany.
Her final episode saw her end things with her partner Aaron Monroe (Charlie Wernham) after he became aggressive with her.
Smith’s departure is permanent, for now, but in a statement, she released to the public she said it was “time to say farewell to Tiff."
"I’ve grown up on EastEnders since 2008, and have learnt from the best over the past 13 years
"I’m very excited for my next challenge and thank the BBC for the opportunity they gave me as a six-year-old."
Priya Davdra has confirmed she has left the show in early January 2020, after three years on the drama. The nature of her exit was very low-key leaving some fans confused.
Addressing the disappointment surrounding her final scene Priya told Digital Spy: “I respect the way the scenes are written and hope I did the scene justice.”
Priya is known for her role as Iqra Ahmed, who was offered a new job at a hotel and was asked to start early. Her exit was not shown on screen, nor were there any emotional farewells with her family or recent partner, Mila.
Explaining why she left, she spoke to Digital Spy saying; “I felt that I had done all I could do with the role and that it was time to try out new characters. She’s been a dream to play but I’m dreaming big for the future.
“I’ve been on the show for three years, so it feels really strange not having that same routine. That said, I am so excited and looking forward to the future and what’s to come next!”
Gurlaine Kaur Garcha
Ash Panesar, played by Gurlaine Kaur Garcha, left Walford earlier this year after two years since her arrival in August 2019 as the girlfriend of Iqra Ahmed.
During her final episode, she made the decision to leave Walford as she got a new job away from the square.
Her leave is said to be temporary, and it is said that Ash is simply taking a short break away from the soap.
Her leave came after her sexuality was in the spotlight after her group of friends, Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) became victims of a hate crime attack leaving Ash hospitalised.
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