Steve McFadden is an English actor, best known for his role as hardman Phil Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which he has played since 1990. He was also the presenter of fighting series Britain's Hardest.BiographyEarly lifeMcFadden was born Steve Reid in the Maida Vale area of London on 20 March 1959, the only child of Robert and Barbara Mallet Reid. His parents separated soon afterwards and his mother later married a man called John McFadden, from whom McFadden took his surname.He left school in 1975 and over the next few years had short stints in jobs including labouring, carrot picking, plumbing and working at a builder's merchant. None of these occupations gave him much satisfaction, so he decided to sell his motorbike and hitch-hike around Europe. He spent several months camping out in Montpellier, France, on land earmarked for development as a football stadium. He then returned to London and felt that the city was too repressive for his liking, so he went to a Job Centre and asked for a job "with a meaning".McFadden's first job after his return to London was on the "Acorn Project", a scheme for blind people which involved attending college. He gained 'O' and 'A' Level passes in Sociology and Politics before enrolling at North London Polytechnic on an Economics course. Just seven weeks after starting, he decided that the course was not for him, and withdrew himself from university. He decided that he wanted to become an actor, got accepted into RADA in 1984, and in his first year there won a prize for creating his own drama piece called "Best Fight" - which included many characters who were based on his own friends from school.