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Villains Wiki
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I'm warning you!!!
~ Dan's catchphrase.
Do you know Phil Mitchell? You wouldn't wanna know. He set me up in business...even gave me somewhere to live...and he was the only person who backed me up when everybody else was treating me like scum...and right out of the blue, he had me over. You know the fact that the money didn't bother me, it's the fact that somebody can betray you and never even give it a second thought. But then, that's a lesson for everyone, ain't it. Never trust anyone...especially your best mate!
~ Dan Sullivan talking to one of Ritchie Stringer's heavies in the car about his history with Phil Mitchell.

Dan Sullivan is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running British soap opera EastEnders; appearing as the secondary antagonist from 7 June 1999 to 16 August 2001.

In his first storyline, Dan represented a love triangle involving himself; his girlfriend Carol Jackson; and her daughter Bianca. It turns out that Dan and Bianca had a previous romance and they soon embarked on an affair until Bianca's husband Ricky Butcher and Carol herself discovered their secret. Dan's actions later resulted in the other three characters being written out of the show. He then embarked on a feud with his archnemesis Phil Mitchell after their partnership in The Queen Victoria public house fell apart. Phil later framed Dan for shooting him and their shared enemy, Steve Owen, conspired to gather evidence against him. After being acquitted for Phil's shooting, Dan exact revenge on both Phil and Steve by kidnapping the trio's common lover Mel Healy for a £200,000 ransom.

The character is portrayed by actor Craig Fairbrass, who is also known for playing Nick Barton in The Bank Job and Pat Tate in the Rise of the Footsolider series, Delmar in Cliffhanger, Freddy "Dead Cert" Frankham in Dead Cert, Lincoln Burgess in Avengement, and Eddie Franks in Villain.


Dan Sullivan first came to Albert Square at Walford, a fictional borough in East London, from June 1999. He started as a dodgy bloke who cheated on his girlfriend Carol Jackson by having an affair with her daughter Biancia. Once Carol discovers this, she ends her relationship with Dan and aborts his baby in retribution. Carol and Bianca would both later depart the square seperately.

Soon afterwards, Dan forged a business partnership with the square's criminal hardman Phil Mitchell and stole his shared ownership of The Queen Victoria public house for £5; Phil had taken the bait after wanting to spite his mother Peggy for favoring his brother Grant Mitchell more than him but soon regretted it when he realized what Dan was like. Dan had earlier caused trouble for Bianca's estranged husband Ricky Butcher and his father Frank Butcher, who were both related to Phil, by getting the former to leave the square heartbroken while the latter clashed with Dan over practically taking over the Vic that Frank continues to own.

In May 2000, Dan learned that Phil had been running a motor scam with Frank's business partner Roy Evans. He soon conducted a plan to get Phil back on his side by reporting him to the police over the scam before "covering up" the situation to make it look like he had saved them from prison. A month later, however, Phil found out that Dan sold him out and planned to get him out of Walford for good. Thereafter he arranged a poker game with Dan and tensions came to a head when Phil revealed that he knew what Dan had done. The pair went all in and Phil wins the poker game, effectively conning Dan into losing everything for good; Dan thereupon left the square with nothing, but not before vowing revenge on Phil.

By the time his poker game with Phil had occured, Dan had been embarking on a relationship with local barmaid Mel Healy. This was nearly threatened when Dan began wooing fellow neighbour Teresa Di Marco, much to the concern of her brothers Beppe and Gianni. So much so that Gianni later confronted Dan and they nearly fought until Mel broke them up. Dan then dumped Tersa and proceeded to win over Mel. However, he ended his relationship with Mel after finding out that she told her best-friend Lisa Shaw about Phil's scam - as Lisa was Phil's girlfriend who ended up telling Phil about this information. Dan blamed Mel for what happened and began harrasing her with threatening phone calls and even breaking into her home. She discoverED this when her fiancé Steve Owen returns, and he threatens to kill Dan unless he leaves Mel alone. Dan is forced out of Walford after Steve visits him with a gun, and he seemingly leaves Walford for good.

In 2001, Dan returns to Walford so he could get revenge on Phil. When Phil is shot on the night Steve and Mel get married, Dan becomes a prime suspect and many of the residents assume that he is the shooter, even though Lisa is the real culprit. Dan soon plans to extort money from Phil and begins terrorizing the latter's godson, Jamie, in order to proceed with his intentions; at one point Dan beats up Jamie when he refuses to pay him. As such, Dan also forces Phil's cousin Billy into working for him against Steve on some occasions - even though Billy is currently working for Steve as his personal errand boy.

Eventually, Phil recovers from the shooting and - after confronting Lisa for her actions - resolved to take down both Dan and Steve for good. He plans to frame Dan for shooting him and then incriminate Steve as an accessory. This is set in motion when Phil contacts Dan's old mob boss, Ritchie Stringer, and they agree to work together in getting Dan put away for life. This works successfully as Dan gets arrested and later charged for shooting Phil, but iN the end found not guilty in his trial for attempted murder.

Following his exoration, Dan resolves to get revenge on both Phil and Steve for good - having deduced that Phil framed him for the shooting before learning that Steve had went along with the plan over personal reasons; Dan is later convinced that Steve was the one who shot Phil after this realization. Dan sets his plan in motion by blackmailing illy into getting leverage over the pair, which works after Billy is forced to tell Dan about Steve's illict activites and the fact that Phil had a one-night stand with Mel before she married Steve. Upon realizing that Mel is the key to his revenge, Dan kidnaps her and holds her captive in an unknown tower block.

Soon enough, Dan contacts Phil and Steve to demand that they each give him £100,000 in exchange for Mel's safety. Phil and Steve manage to acquire the ransom money for Dan, who in the meantime reveals to Mel the extent of Steve's criminal activities and Phil's shenanigans. He also points out that Steve had killed his ex-girlfriend Saskia Duncan before framing his young employee Matthew Rose for the crime, and that Phil had forced Mel's first husband Ian Beale into financial bankruptcy earlier on.

By the next day, Dan forces Phil to deliver the ransom money in exchange for Mel's safety. Phil plans to kill Dan and eventually disarms him. Phil then prepares to execute Dan when Mel switches off the lights, allowing Dan to overpower Phil and then handcuff him to a radiator. Having got his revenge on both Phil and Steve at last, Dan leaves with Mel to drop her off near the square. They part ways before Dan then drives out of Walford with his £200,000 ransom, never to be seen again.

Elsewhere, Phil escapes from captivity but is too late to confront Dan once more. Mel also realizes Dan was telling the truth about Steve and breaks up with him. She later attempts to move forward by romancing with her new boyfriend Nathan Williams, but in the end Steve manages to woo her back into forgiving him for his involvement in Dan's wrongful conviction. When Steve is later killed in March 2002, his funeral takes place and Mel recieves a note from Dan telling Steve "Gotcha".

It is then Dan is last heard to be hiding in Spain, but with many brushes from the law as he did in Albert Square. Dan's last reference comes in 2018 when Steve and Mel's son, Hunter Owen, comes to learn the truth about her father from Phil's eventual wife Sharon Watts - after she comments about the extent of Mel's relationship with Steve before mentiong Dan as well, whom she addresses as a "wrongun".

List of Victims

  • Mel Owen: Tormented her on the phone and later ended up being kidnapped by Dan.
  • Jamie Mitchell: Assaulted him and later threatened him at gunpoint while trying to extort money from him and his godfather Phil Mitchell.
  • Billy Mitchell: Coerced him to give him leverage against Billy's cousin Phil Mitchell and boss Steve Owen.
  • Steve Owen: Blackmailed him to give £100,000 after kidnapping his wife Mel that afterwards resulted in Steve having financial problems in part thanks to Dan's kidnapping scenario.
  • Phil Mitchell: Knocked him out after escaping gunpoint and later tied him to a pole and gagged him around the mouth before leaving the apartment with the $200.000 from Mel's ransom.


You're gonna regret it!
~ Dan vowing revenge against his business partner-turned-archnemesis Phil Mitchell.

Don't spend it all on once, Eh?
~ Dan's final words to Mel Owen before leaving in a car with the $200.000


  • Dan Sullivan is one of the few villains in British Soap to get away with his crimes scot-free and never get his comeuppance for it.
  • He made a total of 149 appearances throughout his time on the show.