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Harry Reid: Max Bowden, I anoint you Ben the 6th

The actor reached out Max Bowden who is set to replace him as Ben Mitchell in 'EastEnders'

By Steve Brown

Words: Steve Brown

Harry Reid has reached out to Max Bowden after he was recast as Ben Mitchell in EastEnders.

It was reported this week that 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 will become the sixth actor to play the openly gay character on the BBC One soap and the senior executive producer Kate Oates said she wants to take the character in a “different direction”.

And now, Reid has taken to Twitter to wish Bowden the “best of luck” and poked fun at him being the sixth actor to play the character saying: “I anoint you Ben the 6th.”

He wrote: “@MaxBowden Mate, just wanted to wish you the best of the luck. Re-casting can be hard on us, but they will grow to love you!

“Enjoy Ben as much as I did! Welcome to the Clan…I anoint you Ben the 6th.”

Bowden then replied saying: “Mate thank you so much, that honestly means a hell of a lot.

“I hope I can give it as much brilliance as you did.”

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.