|Portrayed by||Craig Fairbrass|
|First appearance||Episode 1788|
7 June 1999
|Last appearance||Episode 2150|
16 August 2001
|Introduced by||Matthew Robinson|
Dan Sullivan is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Craig Fairbrass. The character was first introduced as a regular from 7 June 1999 to 10 July 2000 before returning as one of the show's primary antagonists from 26 February to 16 August 2001.
Dan originally appeared in Albert Square as the new boyfriend of established character Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson), but it quickly transpired that Dan had previously cheated on Carol with her daughter Bianca (Patsy Palmer); they reembarked on their affair until Carol found out and exposed it to Bianca's husband Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) — which resulted in both of them and Bianca herself all being written out of the programme. Soon afterwards, the character developed an intense feud with local hardman Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden); the pair started out as best-friends, but ended up becoming archenemies after Phil conned Dan's ownership of The Queen Victoria public house. Their rivalry escalated towards the Who Shot Phil? storyline, wherein Dan becomes a prime suspect after Phil gets shot on the wedding night between their ex-lover Mel Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite) and fellow nemesis Steve Owen (Martin Kemp).
Dan's escalating rivalries with Phil and Steve contribute to the storyline's aftermath, along with Dan's other conflicts against Phil's godson Jamie (Jack Ryder) and cousin Billy (Perry Fenwick). While Phil's ex-girlfriend Lisa Shaw (Lucy Benjamin) was later revealed to be the shooter in 5 April 2001, Phil ends up framing Dan for the crime — which leads to Dan being wrongfully imprisoned prior to his trial in mid-summer 2001. Although Phil and Steve — though sworn enemies — worked together to rid themselves of their common enemy, the trial culminated with Dan being found not guilty. The character then exited the show in 16 August 2001, after becoming the element in a week-of-episodic storyline that saw Dan kidnapping Mel and holding her ransom to get revenge on Phil and Steve for conspiring to get him sent down — by blackmailing them into giving him £100,000 each before fleeing the square with the ransom money.
Dan Sullivan arrives in Albert Square — the local community of Walford, a fictionalized borough in East London — on 7 June 1999, appearing as the latest boyfriend of local café manager Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson). The two soon plan on getting married when Dan learns that Carol is expecting his child, much to the surprise of her daughter Bianca (Patsy Palmer) - as she and Dan had had a fling when she was a teenager on holiday many years before. Dan and Bianca end up having an affair, which Carol eventually discovers - prompting her to disown Bianca, break-up with Dan by chucking him out of her house, and abort their child before leaving Walford. The result of their affair sparks a quarrel Carol's husband Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) and Dan himself, even though the pair were originally friends. This escalates when Bianca leaves the square after she and Dan are unable to resume their relationship, and Dan begins visiting Ricky's sister Janine (Charlie Brooks) for comfort over her brother's behaviour. Left alone in Walford without Carol or Bianca themselves, Dan proceeds to form a business partnership with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) - the square's local hardman - and ends up buying £5 of the share that Phil's brother Grant (Ross Kemp) owns at The Queen Victoria public house. Their growing friendship becomes strained, however, when Dan discovers that Phil is running a car lot scam with Ricky's father Frank (Mike Reid) and his best-friend Roy Evans (Tony Caunter) - which leads him him to inform the police about their activities. When Phil's girlfriend Lisa Shaw (Lucy Benjamin) and her best friend Mel Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite) learn about this, they inform Phil that Dan was the one who tipped off the police. Upon realizing this, Phil ends his friendship with Dan and plots to win back his share of the pub as payback. Phil arranges a card game between him and Dan, then tricks the latter into losing so he could refund his £5. As a result, Dan vows revenge and begins stalking Mel - threatening her with phone calls - upon realizing that she told Phil about his tip-off, further suspecting that she was involved in Phil's plot against him. Dan continues to threaten Mel until her fiancé Steve Owen (Martin Kemp) appears, threatening to kill him unless he leaves the Square; Dan is initially unfazed at Steve's threat, but complies when Steve visits him with a gun - making his threat clear - and Dan leaves on 7 July 2000.
In February 2001, six months after he is last seen, Dan returns to the square - seeking revenge against Phil. Upon learning that Steve and Mel are set to get married, Dan visits Steve to sarcastically offer his congratulations. Steve reminds Dan of the last warning he gave him about leaving the square for good, but Dan ignores Steve and tells him that he is here to deal with Phil - not Mel. When Steve threateningly orders Dan to leave the square again, Dan turns on Steve and tells him that he'll regret crossing him. On the day Steve and Mel get married, Dan confronts Phil's cousin Billy (Perry Fenwick) and demands that he go and get Phil for him. Billy initially refuses and pulls a gun on Dan. However, Dan remains unfazed and - taunting Billy over how he would really feel about killing a man - easily disarms Billy, forcing him to drop his gun and discuss like "big boys". Left with no other choice, Billy summons Phil to Dan. Making it clear that he intends to get revenge on him, Dan threatens Phil after getting chucked with a glass of wine. Soon afterwards, Dan begins harassing Phil with phone calls - before Phil is later shot by an unknown assailant. Following Phil's shooting, Dan becomes a prime suspect. He soon begins to target Phil's godson Jamie (Jack Ryder), threatening to inflict violence on the youngster unless he agrees to repay him the money Phil owes him. Jamie makes his effort to avoid succumbing to Dan's threats, even when Phil's mother Peggy (Barbara Windsor) learns about Dan's comeback. Dan also continues to torment Mel once more, and begins clashing with Steve over their similar issues with Phil.
It is soon revealed that Lisa is the culprit who shot Phil. After confronting Lisa over the shooting, Phil forgives her and decides to frame Dan - knowing that Dan is a much bigger threat to him than Lisa. With Jamie's help, Phil manages to entrap Dan into the police; Dan is arrested after trying to extort money from Phil and Jamie at the garage with a gun. Dan is later charged with attempted murder, and Phil convinces Steve to work together in getting Dan imprisoned - under the guise that the pair, though archenemies, would be well-ridden of their fellow nemesis and Mel's tormentor once and for all. Despite their efforts, however, Dan is found not guilty. Deducing that Phil had framed him for the shooting and that Steve had been conspiring with his plan, Dan plans to get revenge on his two rivals - further coming to believe that Steve is the one who shot Phil. He first blackmails Billy to gain leverage over the pair, and later kidnaps Mel as part of his plan to get £200,000 ransom. He alerts Phil and Steve of Mel's kidnapping to blackmail the pair in delivering him the money in exchange for Mel's safety; with Phil being forced to deliver Steve's £200,000 from his nightclub. Phil plans to take down Dan with a gun, but Dan discovers this and orders Phil to extract Mel on his own. Phil appears to oblige and first, but then surprises Dan and disarms him. Phil prepares to kill Dan, admitting that his habit of never really intentionally killing a man has changed in his case; Dan gets to be the first on Phil's list. However, Mel surprisingly helps Dan by turning off the lights - allowing Dan to overpower Phil and leave him behind. Mel reluctantly helps Dan after he tells her about what Steve and Phil have been up to, without her knowing about it. After dropping off Mel at a rendezvous point, Dan leaves Walford in August 2001 - considerably richer than when he first arrived.
Though he is not seen again on the square again, Dan leaves flowers on Steve's grave following the latter's death in March 2002 - at the epic climax of his feud with Phil - bearing the message "Gotcha!". In 2003, Billy is led to believe that Dan is back in the square to settle a few scores after hearing rumors of his supposed comeback - although this is off-screen. This is later revealed to be a hoax by the police to connect Phil to the alleged murder of Lisa. It soon transpires that Dan is last heard to be living in Spain, but having many brushes with the law - just like he did in the square.
Consequently, Dan is one of the few soap opera villains to not get killed off nor receive any comeuppance for his crimes.
In 2001, it was reported by The Mirror, that Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) would be shot in a whodunnit style storyline. The possible suspects were Lisa Shaw (Lucy Benjamin), Melanie Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite), Steve Owen (Martin Kemp), Mark Fowler (Todd Carty), Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and Dan. Some bookmakers refused to take bets as they were convinced that Dan would commit the crime. The bookies' favourite for Phil's shooter was Dan, with the odds 3–1.