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Phil later goes into partnership at The Queen Victoria public house with Grant and his wife Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), and moves in with them.
The storyline captured viewer and media interest and the culprit-reveal episode was watched by 22 million viewers.
In 2016, Phil was revealed to be the father of Denise Fox (Diane Parish)'s unborn child.
Phil's most prominent storylines include his battles with alcoholism and addiction, various criminal dealings, having an affair with Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) who was married to Grant (a storyline popularly dubbed "Sharongate"), a failed marriage to Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), a strong rivalry with his former step-son Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), his numerous feuds with the likes of Steve Owen (Martin Kemp), Dan Sullivan (Craig Fairbrass), Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman), Mark Fowler (Todd Carty), Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb), Den Watts (Leslie Grantham), Johnny Allen (Billy Murray), Nick Cotton (John Altman), Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman), Max Branning (Jake Wood), Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), Carl White (Daniel Coonan), Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood) and Gavin Sullivan (Paul Nicholas), and being stalked by his son Ben (Joshua Pascoe), leading to an arrest for the murder of Stella Crawford (Sophie Thompson), who abused Ben before jumping from a factory roof.
One of the most culturally significant storylines featuring the character aired in 2001 and was dubbed "Who Shot Phil? The plot saw Phil shot in a whodunit mystery, with the assailant eventually revealed as his former girlfriend Lisa Shaw (Lucy Benjamin).
Phil is one of the major introductions made by executive producer Michael Ferguson, who wanted to bring in some macho, male leads.Phil and his brother Grant became popularly known as the Mitchell brothers in the British media with Phil initially portrayed as the lesser of two thugs.