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3 October 2017, 14:52
The Mitchell family are losing another member.
The BBC has confirmed that Harry Reid, who plays Ben Mitchell on EastEnders, is to leave the soap.
"We can confirm that Harry will be leaving EastEnders," a spokesperson said. "Harry has been a great addition to the cast and we wish him all the best for the future."
We'll miss the relationship between 'brothers' Jay and Ben. [Picture: BBC]
The upcoming departure of gay mechanic Ben will be the latest in a run of major exits from the Square. Messed-up Steven Beale (Aaron Sidwell) was recently killed off, and the two main women in his life, sisters Lauren and Abi Branning (Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald) are also on their way out.
Ben is the son of long-term characters Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) and has been involved in some huge storylines over the years.
Joshua Pascoe was the fourth Ben, from 2010 to 2012. [Picture: BBC]
As a child Ben coped with partial deafness after suffering from meningitis; the ‘death’ of his mother; physical abuse at the hands of his dad’s fiancée Stella (Sophie Thompson) and his dad’s dismay at his love of Lady Gaga.
As an adult, Ben was imprisoned for the manslaughter of Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison); he struggled with his sexuality; fathered a child who he no longer sees and lost his boyfriend Paul (Jonny Labey) in a vicious homophobic attack.
Charlie Jones was the third Ben, from 2006 to 2010. [Picture: BBC]
It’s safe to say that there haven’t been a whole lot of laughs along the way.
Gravesend-born Harry Reid, 25, has been in the role for three years and is the fifth actor to play Ben. In our opinion, he was also the best one yet.
The actor has previously said he would be “deeply upset” if show bosses were to write out his character. He told The Sun last year: “How would anyone feel if they lost their job? I don’t think anyone is pleased to go.”
The Mitchells have been one of the dominant EastEnders families since 1990, but following the death of matriarch Peggy (Barbara Windsor) in May 2016 and the double drowning of sisters Roxy and Ronnie (Rita Simons and Samantha Womack), their numbers are dwindling.