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Ben Mitchell to return to ‘EastEnders’ with a brand new actor in the role

Former 'Waterloo Road' star Max Bowden will be the sixth actor to play the long-standing character.

By Will Stroude

EastEnders viewers are set to see a familiar face back on Albert Square in the coming weeks as Ben Mitchell makes a return to Walford.

Except, the face might not be all that familiar at all following another recast for the long-standing character, who has appeared on screen on and off since the character’s birth in 1996.

Former Waterloo Road star Max Bowden is set to take over the role from Harry Reid, who played Ben from 2014 until the character’s departure last year and had previously expressed interest in reprising the role.

Bowden, 24, will be the sixth actor to play Ben, and fourth in the last nine years alone.

Speaking about taking on the role, Bowden 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”

Since coming out as gay on screen in 2011, Ben has been involved in several important LGBT storylines, including a horrowing storlyine dealing with the death of his former boyfriend Paul Coker (Jonny Labey) in a homophobic attack.

Ben and Paul were also involved in an infamous gay sex scene in a funeral parlour in the presence of a corpse, which was later cleared by Ofcom after attracting complaints from viewers.

Producers have teased that Ben is set to return to Walford withformer partner Lola Pearce Danielle Harold) and their daughter Lexi, as another chapter in the character’s onscreen life begins.

EastEnders’ senior executive producer Kate Oates said: “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.”

EastEnders airs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on BBC One in the UK.