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McFadden 'given special leave' from 'Enders

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Phil Mitchell from EastEnders

© BBC

Steve McFadden has been given special leave from EastEnders, reports claim.

According to The Sun, the actor - who plays Phil Mitchell in the soap - has agreed to appear in a pantomime over the Christmas period.

The 51-year-old will reportedly take a six-week break for his forthcoming appearance as Captain Hook, for which he will earn £160,000.

"The festive season is a massive time for soaps - and the Christmas Day and New Year's Day episodes are the biggest event of the soap year," an insider told The Sun.

"But bosses are desperate to keep Steve on side as he will be the last senior Mitchell left, with Peggy doing a disappearing act."

McFadden considered quitting the show earlier this year after on-screen mother Barbara Windsor announced her departure. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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