As the wait continues to find out exactly who has been killed on EastEnders' Christmas Day special, and who has done the killing, we're taking a closer look at all the possibilities.


The male victim, we feel, has to be a character with a history of misdemeanours - though of course, that might just be what the BBC soap wants us to think!

Still, in keeping with the above, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) is certainly high on the list. His life is never quiet, and he's got a big secret to keep under wraps at the moment - and more to discover...

So read on as we go through all the clues that point to Phil being the lifeless body on the floor of The Queen Vic...

Is Phil Mitchell the dead body in EastEnders at Christmas? All the clues and theories

Phil is Albie's father

Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell opposite Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts with Albie in EastEnders.
When will Phil discover the truth about Sharon? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

In a shocking twist in November, Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) discovered that her son Albie was not actually the son of her partner Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) and is instead her on-off lover and ex-husband Phil.

Ahead of Christmas, the only people aware of this secret are Sharon herself, her brother Zack Hudson (James Farrar), her best friend Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), and, more recently, Phil's current wife Kat (Jessie Wallace).

While Phil has been protective of Albie already out of a love for Sharon and her late son Dennis, Phil will likely be shocked to discover Albie is his son, be angry it was hidden from him, and want answers from Sharon.

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Having shown a toxic temper towards Sharon and women before, could a furious Phil lash out towards Sharon in the Queen Vic, prompting her or the other women in the Six to protect her?

Alternatively, could learning that he is not the father prompt Keanu to strike out and kill Phil in a jealous rage?

Cheating secret

Patsy Kensit as Emma and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders
Patsy Kensit as Emma and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders BBC

Phil harbours a dirty secret - he had a fling with Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit), mother of the late Lola Pearce-Brown (Danielle Harold). After shutting down those in the know, Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) and Alfie Moon (Shane Richie), Phil married Kat.

But cheating doesn't stay under wraps in Soapland, so we're expecting this particular bombshell to be dropped before the end of the year; or maybe even on Christmas Day itself!

There are six Walford women present when the dead character is found, and Kat isn't shown as one of them - but what if she is there when the killer move is made?

Kat confessed that Phil has made her feel safe at last after a turbulent life, so what if she hears of his betrayal and an argument gets out of hand, resulting in Phil's death?

Perhaps Kat isn't involved at all - but the fact that Phil has been a naughty boy in the lead-up to the festive season, dishing out threats to protect himself, surely can't be a coincidence? We've written about how Sharon Watts may have been close to the dead party before...

Connections to The Six

Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater, Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar, Kellie Bright as Linda Carter, Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts, Diane Parish as Denise Fox, Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale for EastEnders
Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater, Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar, Kellie Bright as Linda Carter, Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts, Diane Parish as Denise Fox, Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale for EastEnders. BBC

Due to his iconic status and long length on the Square, Phil has close bonds with most of the women or has at least had run-ins with them.

Three of the Six have children with him - Kathy, Denise, and Sharon - while he was also married to two of them, Kathy and Sharon.

Meanwhile, Phil has supported Linda through their shared experience of alcoholism, while he is now related to Stacey through his marriage to her cousin Kat - despite Stacey previously feuding with and assaulting him with a wrench!

Finally, Phil has been a business rival and occasional adversary to Suki and the Panesars, so he has ties with all of the ladies.

Amber cufflinks in EastEnders
Who's wearing the amber cufflinks? BBC

Top of the list is the most recent development in this story. On his wedding day to Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace), Phil was given a pair of amber cufflinks by Jack Branning (Scott Maslen). Jack had acquired them in a poker game earlier this year, but the original owner was Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry).

Now, these cufflinks are on the dead body, as seen in the Christmas flashforward when Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) checks the man's pulse and proclaims him dead. Of course, anything could happen between now and then, so this doesn't confirm Phil as the victim.

But these cufflinks have been the most consistent clue, and we can't ignore that they are now firmly in Phil's possession - although we'll be watching closely to see if he hands them over to another local, or back to a previous owner.

However, now Billy and Alife have been sharing their own batch of amber cufflinks, these original ones feel less important...

Cheated death one too many times

eastenders phil
Phil during one of his many near-death experiences in EastEnders

There may not be a clear reason why Phil could be murdered - at least, not when we factor in The Six as potential killers. But a lot can happen between now and Christmas Day, or those characters may not be responsible.

The thing is, Phil has come pretty close to death so many times, it's almost a running joke by now. He's survived shootings by two ex-lovers, car crashes, liver disease, a gas explosion, multiple beatings and more!

The jury's out on whether this makes Phil lucky or not, but we have to consider that EastEnders may decide the time has come to kill Phil for real. Even if the very thought of it feels wrong...

It would be a choice to get rid of Phil for good, unless, of course, Steve McFadden has decided it is time for him to leave EastEnders for good...


Steve McFadden posing in a suit among orange smoke as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders.
Have on-set images revealed Phil's fate? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

On-set photographs published by The Sun showed Steve McFadden filming on location with other actors as part of the Mitchell family in what are reported to be scenes to mark the death of Phil's relative Aunt Sal Martin, whose actress Anna Karen died last year.

Hollywood actor Alan Ford has reportedly been cast in the story and has been photographed filming with McFadden in scenes that would appear to be coming in 2024.

However, could this be an elaborate ruse to hide Phil's true fate?

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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer.

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