One of England's best loved soap actors, Phil Mitchell's journey from the laboratory to the glamourous cobbles of Coronation Street was an unlikely one. An initially promising career as gifted but maverick genetic scientist came to an abrupt end when Mitchell controversially spliced his own DNA with that of the humble garden spud, in the ultimately mistaken belief that world hunger could be alleviated by endowing himself with the ability to shit potatoes.
Results were somewhat mixed. Destitute after being laughed out of the scientific community, Mitchell was reduced to gnawing on his own deep-fried toes for sustenance, explaining why he looks so out of breath after running mere inches. Fortuitously this was exactly the look required by casting agents for the character of dim-witted mechanic Cockney Spanner, and thus a television legend was born.