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‘EastEnders’ fans in tears over unexpected ‘return’ of Peggy Mitchell

EastEnders - Peggy Mitchell behind the Queen Vic bar
'EastEnders' legend Peggy Mitchell made a return in Phil Mitchell's flashback. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders viewers were left teary-eyed during last night’s episode (Tuesday, Jan. 26) as Peggy Mitchell (Dame Barbara Windsor) made a brief return to the soap in Phil Mitchell’s (Steve McFadden) flashback. 

Recently, Phil was offered a life-changing deal by the police to help him get out of serving life in prison for his involvement in the murder of Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood). However, the deal meant he would have to turn informant, which Phil refused as it went against everything he believed in.

Last night’s episode saw the aftermath of his brutal split from Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) in an attempt to save her from the truth that he would be serving life in prison. But, after a confrontation with his ex Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) who was adamant that he should take the deal, Phil found himself contemplating the life-changing decision on a bench in the middle of the Square.

Phil Mitchell sits outside the Queen Vic.

Phil Mitchell heard beloved Peggy's voice in a flashback. (Image credit: BBC)

As Phil looked up at The Queen Vic, his mother, Peggy’s voice replayed in his mind, saying, “Phil, you’ve got to get out there and defend what’s yours.”

Phil’s brother, Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) then interrupted with: “You should’ve come to me, at least I would have kicked some sense into you, made you feel a bit better.”

Peggy then continued with a poignant reminder to Phil, as she said, “You’re surrounded by people who love you. Just try to love yourself.”

Peggy Mitchell with her sons Grant and Phil Mitchell

Peggy with her sons Grant and Phil. (Image credit: BBC)

Phil’s flashback was then interrupted by Sharon who was frustrated with Phil for not taking the deal. “Phil? You haven’t taken the deal, have you? You’re ready to lose everything that matters to you? And for what? Some old principle that doesn’t mean anything? Keeble’s given you an out,” she fumed.

But will this be enough to change Phil's mind and take the deal?

Fans were thrilled to hear Peggy’s iconic voice once again and got emotional about her bittersweet return...

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EastEnders airs tomorrow at 7:30pm on BBC1— see our TV Guide for full listings. 

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.