EastEnders fans are in for a treat tonight as the classic Sharongate episode is reshown on BBC One, the latest episode to be brought back from the archives, dusted down and given another airing.
The 1994 episode — which is quite possibly the most well-known out of the 6,124 that have aired thus far — was originally broadcast back in 1994, and saw Sharon’s (Letitia Dean) steamy affair with Phil (Steve McFadden) made public in the Queen Vic for the whole Square to hear.
Of course, Sharon’s history with the Mitchell Brothers has spanned the decades – right up until the very last pre-lockdown episodes in which he forced her to choose between him and baby Kayden – and she subsequently got revenge by becoming the new owner of the Queen Vic.
But just what happened between Sharon, Phil and Grant all those years ago…?
What happened between Sharon, Phil and Grant?
Sharon’s involvement with the Mitchells dates all the way back to 1991, when she married Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) – but the marriage quickly turned rocky, with Grant and Sharon clashing over his desire to start a family, while she wanted to focus on making the Queen Vic a success.
Grant ended up storming out in 1992 after Sharon confessed she had carried on taking her contraceptive pill as she did not want to get pregnant – and he disappeared for a few weeks, leaving her to turn to Phil (Steve McFadden) for comfort.
When Grant returned, despite promising Sharon he would change, he quickly returned to his old ways – with Sharon and Phil ultimately growing closer and starting an affair, even as Grant’s behaviour got worse, as he turned to crime and attempted to burn the Queen Vic to the ground in an insurance scam.
After hitting Sharon, Michelle (Susan Tully) called the police, leading to a scuffle in which Michelle was punched before Grant was arrested and ultimately sent to prison on remand.
During this time he began to suspect Sharon might be involved with someone else – not knowing it was his own brother – and neither Phil nor Sharon could bring themselves to confess.
Sharon was reconciled with Grant when he was released,and Phil ultimately moved on, initially marrying Romanian refugee Nadia to allow her to gain a visa, before finding love with Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) and becoming engaged to her – resisting Sharon’s attempts to rekindle the affair once more.
For a while it looked as though things might work out for Sharon and Grant – with the pair even considering starting a family – until Sharon was accidentally caught on tape confessing details of her affair with Phil to Michelle.
The tape found its way into Grant’s car, and he heard the confession for himself after playing it while on an errand on the night of Phil and Kathy’s engagement party – leading to the dramatic moment when he walked into the Vic mid-party. stopped the music, and played it for all the guests to hear.
What happened after Sharon and Phil’s affair was revealed?
The fallout was dramatic, leading to Grant beating up Phil so badly he ended up in hospital, and while they eventually reconciled he blamed Sharon for the affair and made her life a misery.
Eventually, she finally agreed to divorce him the following Christmas – leaving Walford to go and live in the US with her mother.
That subsequently sparked the return of Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) who took over the Queen Vic from Sharon.
She returned in 1995 to hostility from the Mitchells, although Grant realised he was still in love with her – leading to Sharon embarking on a revenge plan to get him to propose, but she was unable to go through with the plot, and confessed to Grant that she still loved him – before once again leaving for the US.
EastEnders Sharongate is on BBC One on Tuesday night at 7.30pm.
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