But will be played by a completely different actor
Ben Mitchell will be coming back to EastEnders in a dramatic story, but viewers will notice that the character is no longer played by Harry Reid. The new actor is in fact, Max Bowden. He will be, in fact, the sixth actor to play the role.
According to the BBC, Max Bowden will be taking on the role of Ben Mitchell, a character that just like his father never seems to be far from trouble. During his previous time in the Square, Ben was at the heart of many storylines including killing Heather Trott, his turbulent relationship with his father, Phil, and faking his relationship with Abi Branning to hide his sexuality.
On top of this, Ben had to cope with losing his one true love, Paul Coker, after they were both involved in an unprovoked homophobic attack.
This isn’t the first time a gay character has left and then come back with a different actor in the role. Johnny Carter was originally played by Sam Strike but was replaced in 2016 when Ted Reily took over the role.
Who is Max Bowden?
Max Bowden is best known for playing Justin Fitzgerald in Waterloo Road and has also appeared in other television and theatre roles including the UK tour of Birdsong. Speaking about joining EastEnders, Max said: “I’m so excited to be joining the cast of EastEnders and taking on the role of Ben Mitchell. I’ve always been a fan of the show so to be joining one of the most iconic families in soap is beyond exciting. I can’t wait to get started and see what’s in store for Ben.”
Kate Oates (Senior Executive Producer, EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty) added: “A character like Ben, with his rich history, ‘complicated’ family and complex psychology, is pure gold. With Max in the role, we will be exploring the aspects of Ben’s character that have been allowed to develop during his time away from the Square: unfettered by old loyalties, and out of the long shadow of his father, Phil.”
Kate recently said that she was looking to introduce a gay bar to Albert Square, saying “We are looking at opening a gay bar on the square which will be a super-cool precinct where gay and straight characters can all just hang out, and loads of stories can cross and should just be something really exciting, really fun, really visual and feel really true to multicultural London.
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