Soap star villain to swap Albert Square for a Northampton bingo hall

Steve McFadden - AKA Phil Mitchell - is set to call out the numbers at Beacon Bingo on April 1.

Steve McFadden - AKA Phil Mitchell - is set to call out the numbers at Beacon Bingo on April 1.

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A TV hard-man whose on-screen persona once burned down the Queen Vic in a fit of rage is coming to Northampton - to try his hand at bingo calling for a night.

Steve McFadden, better known as law-dodging Eastenders brute Phil Mitchell, is set to show his lighter side when he calls out the numbers at Beacon Bingo on Saturday, April 1.

The RADA graduate and multiple British Soap Awards winner will meet and greet guests at the Weedon Road hall, as well as signing autographs on he night.

However the timing of the occasion led some to question whether Beacon Bingo's event is actually a hoax.

Among many to comment on its Facebook page, Tasha Mackenzie, said: "I wanna know if it's an April fools or not?"

But Beacon Bingo says the event is definitely for real.

Assistant manager, Adam Charlesworth, said more than 40,000 people have now seen the Facebook post advertising the actor's visit and admissions will be on a first-com-first-serve basis.

He said: "We booked him through his agent because one of our other clubs in Ilkeston had Kane Dingle (actor Jeff Hordley) from Emmerdale and it proved a really popular event."

McFadden recently picked up the outstanding achievement award at the National Soap Awards, shortly after his persona Phil Mitchell received a last-minute liver transplant likely to keep him on the small screen for years to come.

Beacon Bingo will announce the timings for Mr McFadden's arrival via its Facebook page in due course.