Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Phil stays in the Square
Steve McFadden: Phil Mitchell will be in the Queen Vic for another year
EastEnders actor Steve McFadden has signed up to stay in the BBC soap for another year - a week after his screen brother Ross Kemp defected to ITV.
Kemp, who plays Grant Mitchell in the series, signed a 10-year deal with London Weekend Television last week to work on new drama projects.
But McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, is staying loyal to the BBC, and has signed a deal reported to be worth £250,000.
He said he would miss Kemp from the show, but added in real life "he's anything but like a brother".
Phil and Grant Mitchell joined the show 10 years ago, and viewers have been gripped by the disintegration of Phil's marriage to Kathy - played by Gillian Taylforth - and his battle against alcoholism.
Kathy was last seen in the show heading off to South Africa to start a new life, and McFadden confirmed she was due to appear again.
"There are plans for her to come back at some stage," he said.
Meanwhile, EastEnders executive producer Matthew Robinson said the plot details concerning how Kemp leaves the show would be a tightly-kept secret.
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