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Kill Mitchell; EASTEND SHOCKER AS AVENGER MEL STORMS THE QUEEN VIC BAR.

Byline: NICOLA METHVEN, TV Editor

THIS is the explosive moment when Mel Owen flies at EastEnders hardman Phil Mitchell, accusing him of murdering her husband.

Mel is hysterical after learning that he could be behind the death of her beloved Steve.

Gathering all her strength she storms into the Queen Vic and lunges at the startled mechanic.

The showdown, to be screened tomorrow, follows Steve's fireball death in Friday's episode. After a frenzied car chase Phil, played by Steve McFadden, broke inside the blazing car and rescued baby Louise from the back seat - but he could do nothing to save Steve.

Now Mel has found out that Phil was there - and is sure that can mean only one thing.

As landlady Peggy proposes a toast to her son for his bravery, Mel storms into the bar trembling with rage while ex-husband Ian Beale tries to restrain her. It's a shocker actress Tamzin Outhwaite relished. "Mel looks brave on the outside but inside she's cracking up," Tamzin explained.

"I loved filming that scene - it's not often you get to fly at someone. I nearly vaulted over the bar, it was like doing gym at school."

But Mel's anger soon turns to devastation as Phil forces her to accept that Steve - actor Martin Kemp - had been cheating on her with his sister Sam.

She's not about to forgive Phil, though. "He's been nothing but trouble and she's not going to build bridges now," Tamzin said.

Kemp has left the BBC1 soap for a "golden handcuffs" deal with ITV.

Tamzin is also quitting Albert Square in a dramatic storyline next month.

Arrested over Steve's money laundering, Mel consoles herself by snogging her ex-husband.

But after discovering she's pregnant a broken Mel confronts everyone in the Vic who has played a part in her downfall - before marching out of Walford for good.

CAPTION(S):

RAGE: Distraught Mel, her face contorted with hate, lunges at Phil at the Queen Vic bar and accuses him of killing husband Steve; COOL IT: Mel's ex-husband Ian tries to restrain her; EXIT: Steve's fireball death last Friday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2002
Words:348
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