|First appearance||23rd August 2004|
|Last appearance||27th August 2004|
|Number of appearances||3|
|Played by||Richard Bremmer|
Malcolm Phillips was the dour, estranged father of Karen McDonald. He called to hers and Steve's flat in August 2004 to tell her that her mother Margaret was dying but Karen shouted at him to leave. For the first time ever, she then opened up to Steve about her emotionally-abusive childhood. Malcolm and Margaret were religious fanatics who saw their lack of money or worldly goods as being akin to living a life where they had made a vow of poverty. Karen wasn't allowed toys or to play with other children on her council estate. At the age of fifteen, it was Linda Sykes who showed her a different lifestyle and her dad found her at the Sykes's house. He dragged her home and emotional abuse turned to physical abuse when he beat her "to a pulp" while her mother stood by and watched. Karen immediately moved in with Linda and her parents disowned her from that day onwards for the next ten years.
Within a couple of days, Margaret Phillips died. Karen put on a patently false front of being unconcerned and all around her started to worry about her. Malcolm called back to the flat with an envelope which he gave to Steve. When Karen opened it, it contained the funeral arrangements and a drawing that Karen had done as a child many years before and which her parents had kept. She promptly screwed it up and threw it in the bin. She also deliberately missed the funeral and instead attended Dev Alahan and Sunita Parekh's engagement party clad in the brightest red dress she could conjure up out of her wardrobe. Soon afterwards, Karen was unable to keep up the pretence any more and suffered a breakdown which lasted several weeks.
List of appearancesEdit