EastEnders' Shirley to propose to Phil
EastEnders' Shirley Carter is to propose to boyfriend Phil Mitchell, despite being unaware his son Ben Mitchell killed her best friend Heather Trott
EastEnders' Shirley Carter is to propose to boyfriend Phil Mitchell.
The cafe manager - who is played by Linda Henry - is hurting following the death of her best friend Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison) last month, so she turns to Phil (Steve McFadden) for comfort and surprisingly pops the question, despite being unaware his son Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) killed the larger-than-life cleaner.
Linda explained: "Phil tells her that he would do anything to stop the hurt she's going through - so Shirley takes the opportunity to propose to him. He's really shocked, because it's the last thing he's expecting her to say.
"In fact, Phil tells her she isn't thinking straight and that she's proposed to him for all the wrong reasons."
Shirley bans Heather's boyfriend Andrew Cotton (Ricky Grover), Dot Cotton (June Brown) and Rose Cotton (Polly Perkins) from attending the funeral because she thinks Andrew was responsible for her best pal's murder - but later that day she finds evidence proving he didn't commit the harrowing crime.
Linda said: "She discovers some train tickets and realises Andrew was telling the truth - he and Heather had planned to elope. From then on, Shirley is on a mission. She and Andrew may never be the best of pals - but now they're united in getting justice for Heather."
Shirley comforts Ben after he breaks down in tears at the funeral, and Linda believes her alter-ego would be "completely distraught" if she ever finds out Phil has hidden such a big secret from her.
She added to Inside Soap magazine: "If Shirley knew what Phil was hiding from her, she'd be completely distraught. She's been through thick and thin with Phil - they've had good times and bad times.
"It would feel like the ultimate betrayal if she ever discovered the truth."