EastEnders' Phil to battle drug addiction
Eastenders' Phil Mitchell will become addicted to crack cocaine in a controversial new storyline. Walford's resident hardman - played by Steve McFadden - will fall into deep depression before becoming hooked on the lethal drug, according to reports in The Mirror. In shocking scenes to be aired this summer, Phil - who's already battling alcoholism - becomes a 'crackhead' as he struggles to come to terms with the prospect of losing his son Ben and daughter Louise, by his ex Lisa Fowler. A BBC spokeswoman said: "EastEnders has a history of tackling social issues. We are working closely with drug and alcohol charities, including Addaction and DrugScope to make sure that we sensitively reflect this difficult issue." An EastEnders insider told the Mirror: "Bosses thought long and hard about the storyline. It will be shocking, powerful and dramatic. "At no point will viewers see Phil take drugs to ensure the episodes are suitable for the audience." DrugScope chief executive Martin Barnes said: "If EastEnders sensitively reflect the impact that drug use has on Phil, it could help." Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop (opens in new tab)
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.