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Ben Mitchell
Benmitchelljacket
© BBC
Portrayed by Matthew Silver (1996–98)
Morgan Whittle (1999–2000)
Charlie Jones (2006–10)
Joshua Pascoe (2010–12)
Harry Reid (2014–2018)
Max Bowden (2019-)
Introduced by Jane Harris (1996)
Matthew Robinson (1999)
Kate Harwood (2006)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
Kate Oates (2019)
Gender Male Male
First Appearance 21 March 1996
Duration 1996–2001, 2006–2012, 2014–
Address 55 Victoria Road (2014-2018)
Newcastle, England (2018-2019)
45 Albert Square (2019-)
Status Alive
Age 23
Date of Birth 21 March 1996
Occupation Mechanic (2014-2017)
Businessman (2019-)
Classification Present; regular
Relationships
RomancesDuncan Willis (2011)
Lola Pearce (2011)
Johnny Carter (2014, 2017)
Paul Coker (2015-16)
Abi Branning (2015-16)
Luke Browning (2017)
Callum Highway (2019-)
DaughtersLexi Pearce
FatherPhil Mitchell
MotherKathy Hills
StepfatherGavin Sullivan
StepmotherSharon Rickman
Half-BrothersIan Beale
Raymond
Dennis Rickman (adoptive)
Half-SistersDonna Ludlow
Louise Mitchell
GrandfathersEric Mitchell
Dennis Hills
GrandmothersPeggy Mitchell
Brenda Hills
UnclesGrant Mitchell
Ted Hills
AuntsSam Mitchell
Stephanie Hills
Great-unclesArchie Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
Great-auntsSal Martin
NephewsSteven Beale (adoptive)
Peter Beale
Bobby Beale
NiecesLucy Beale
Great-nephewsLouie Beale
Great-niecesAbi Branning (adoptive)
First cousinsMark Fowler
Courtney Mitchell
Ricky Mitchell
Tony Hills
Sarah Hills
Nina Harris
Other relativesRonnie Mitchell
Roxy Mitchell
Danielle Jones
James Branning
Matthew Mitchell Cotton
Amy Mitchell
Billy Mitchell
Lola Pearce
Janet Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Ben Mitchell is the son of hardman Phil Mitchell and Kathy Hills, brother of Ian, Donna, Louise and Raymond and the father of Lexi Pearce.

Storylines

Ben was born in March 1996, to Phil Mitchell and Kathy Hills. He had meningitis as a baby, leaving him partly deaf in one ear. Kathy and Ben left Walford, boarding flight to Cape Town, South Africa. Ben returns after 8 years living in South Africa after Kathy has died in a car crash. In Walford, he settles in to live with his half-brother and Kathy's son from ex-husband, Pete, Ian Beale.

"Somebody help me" Eventually, he is reunited with his dad but has a dislike to his then-girlfriend, Stella, who starts to abuse Ben physically. Eventually, Phil and Stella are engaged. In July 2007, Phil and Stella's wedding day, Ben reveals all about Stella, making her commit suicide by jumping off a roof. His dad is later arrested for her suicide.

Ben begins to take up dancing and passes an exam for Phil's approval. In March 2010, his half-sister, Louise Mitchell, turns up on the Square. Louise steals Ben's diary, suggesting that he's gay. Ben, who wants revenge, burns Louise's hand and locks her inside the summerhouse. Phil finds out and worries if he's abusing her as Stella abused him. Ben comes clear that Jordan Johnson, is bullying him. Phil advises him to fight back but takes it too far, as he lands Jordan in hospital. Ben soon lands in trouble with the Crown Court, who accuse him of abuse and they send him to a 12-month sentence in juvenile detention.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Ben is released from prison and punches Phil in face to prove to him that he's strong; this shocks Jay and Shirley. Jay steps back in fear. However, Phil responds to his welcome by giving him a hug. His great-aunt, Glenda Mitchell, is pushed down the stairs after getting drunk at Ben's welcome party. He secretly talks to Heather Trott, who is his dad's girlfriend's friend (Shirley Carter), by making a fake profile on a dating website. He leads her to believe that someone called 'Kevin' is interested in her, but soon ends the fakery by saying that Kevin died in a motor accident. Heather knows Ben needs someone to confide in. His grandma, Peggy Mitchell, leaves the Square after the fire incident at the Vic, which a drug-addict Phil caused. Peggy encourages Ben to stay in Walford and make a fresh start. As a fresh starts, Ben begins to attend the gym with a boy called Duncan. It soon turns romantic as Ben kisses him. But Duncan leaves the Square, realising it was only for fun, leaving Ben distraught. Ben develops feelings for Christian Clarke, who is also gay but also 24 years his senior. He is mortified when Ben tries to kiss him. Ben admits the truth to his father, Phil, who is shocked and says they try and accept each other for who they are.

"Happy Birthday Dad"

Ben anonymously sends Phil several items related to his past crimes, convincing him that he has a stalker. Phil's girlfriend, Shirley Carter (Linda Henry), discovers Ben's deceit and is horrified when Phil is arrested for the murder of Kevin Wicks (Phil Daniels) due to evidence brought to light by Ben. Phil is released due to lack of supporting evidence, and Ben promises Shirley that his hate campaign will end. He is delighted when Shirley buys him and Jay an old car to repair and race in. DCI Marsden (Sophie Stanton) re-opens the investigation into Stella's death and interviews Ben. He initially claims not to remember anything, but after Phil humiliates him for stalling the car's engine, Ben claims that Phil forced Stella to jump on the threat of being pushed. Phil makes plans to flee the country before he can be arrested, but is stalled by Ben, who reveals himself as his father's stalker. The next day, Shirley is informed by Marsden that Phil has been charged with Stella's murder and will probably be sentenced to at least 20 years. When the rest of the Mitchell family discover Ben's involvement in his dad's arrest, they disown him and throw him out of the house. The next morning, homeless and lonely, Ben has breakfast with Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman), who gives him money to keep him going. Later, Ben goes to stay with Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), his fiancée Mandy Salter (Nicola Stapleton) and daughter Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater). While living with Ian, Shirley visits Ben and pleads with him to drop the charges against Phil, admitting that she regrets throwing him out and she still cares about him. Ben asks her to leave, which she does. Ian later discovers that Ben lied to DCI Marsden (Sophie Stanton) about Phil, but remains on Ben's side. When Ben visits Phil in prison, he tells his father that he will never forget what Phil has done and will dance on his grave after he dies.

Heather's Murder

Phil has just been from released from jail as Ben's story has fallen to pieces and Phil wants to take out his anger on his son for sending him there, however, when he get's into Heather's flat he finds out that Ben killed Heather Trott as he thought she was the one who told the police he was lying about his dad.

On Friday 17 August 2012, Ben admits to the DCI Marsden and DS Crisp that he killed Heather Trott. Phil tries to save the day and Marsden doesn't believe him. DS Crisp arrests Ben and questions him. Ben said that the object he killed Heather with was at home. The police investigate and couldn't find the object. DS Crisp goes to the house and Jay Mitchell along with Shirley Carter hides the frame. DS Crisp talks to Shirley and she points to the washing machine. He finds the frame.

Ben wants to give a message to Jay but couldn't pass it on. DS Crisp says the interview is over while he gives the lawyer "the look" and the lawyer gives Ben a piece of paper and a pen. Ben writes his message and the lawyer leaves the room and gives the note to Jay, which tells Jay to tell the truth and that he will always love him.

Jay tells the truth and the next day Ben is arrested for murder. He asks about Jay and finds out that he is being charged for not confessing about the murder. Phil tries to persuade Ben to change his statement, however Ben insists that going to prison is the right thing and that he needs to be punished. Ben refuses to have any contact with anyone until he is released, leaving Phil in tears as Ben is escorted away.

In 2014, Phil finds out from Richie that Ben has been released for over a month and the prison was glad to see the back of him. Jay has already seen Ben in the time that he's been out of prison.

Relationship with Abi

After witnessing Ian's grief following his daughter Lucy Beale's (Hetti Bywater) murder (see "Who Killed Lucy Beale?"), Phil decides to get in touch with Ben; however, Ritchie reveals that Ben was released the previous month. Phil cannot get hold of him, although Jay has seen Ben twice since his release. In September Ben (now played by Harry Reid) returns to Walford when he learns that Phil is having an affair with Shirley days before his wedding to Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean). Ben initially tries to convince his father to reunite with Shirley, but forms a bond with Sharon when she accepts him into the family and acts as Phil's best man at the wedding. After the wedding, Shirley shoots Phil whilst struggling with Sharon. Ronnie asks Ben and Jay to get rid of the gun. Ben meets Johnny Carter (Sam Strike) and is attracted to him, but when Johnny makes a move Ben reacts badly and says he is not gay and that his interest in men was a phase. He then starts a relationship with Abi in an effort to prove it to Phil and Johnny. When Johnny later leaves the square, he tells Ben not to hide who he truly is. Although Ben continues to deny his attraction to men, he later misinterprets a brotherly moment with Jay and tries to kiss him. Jay later tells Abi, but then lies and says he made it up when he sees how upset she is. Ben eventually confesses to Abi that he's still attracted to men but, desperate to keep him, Abi decides to stay with him, saying their relationship is about more than sex. However, Ben is later seen looking at a gay contacts app on his smartphone.

Ben had instructed Jay to bury Lucy's purse and phone, which has been missing since her death. Denise Fox (Diane Parish) digs them up in Patrick Trueman's (Rudolph Walker) allotment and takes them to Ian, who calls the police before Ben convinces him that he found them on Good Friday in a bag in the Square and had no part in Lucy's murder. Ian lies to the police and protects Ben. When Phil is arrested on suspicion of attempting to kill Ronnie, he puts Ben in charge of his garage. Max Branning (Jake Wood) starts helping him with deals, only to trick Ben into signing over the garage to him as revenge for the death of his girlfriend Emma Summerhayes (Anna Acton), which Max has blamed Phil for, though Phil eventually gets the garage back. Ben then starts a sexual relationship with Paul Coker (Jonny Labey), whilst maintaining his relationship with Abi. Ben grows frustrated with Abi's controlling behaviour, and she is suspicious, so Ben has sex with her to allay her fears. Phil catches Ben and Paul half-naked together at the car lot, and angrily tells Ben to leave as he broke his trust, both in hiding his homosexuality and being loyal to Abi. Ben ends his relationship with Paul, leaving Paul heartbroken. Paul tries to speak to Ben on numerous occasions, but fails to win Ben's affections over. Ben and Abi decide to find their own home after realising they can no longer stay with Phil after Sharon leaves him. Ben and Paul flirt and arrange to go to the cinema but when Abi finds them and leaves in anger feeling Ben is not taking their plans seriously, Ben follows her, leaving Paul alone. Paul later tells Ben that he loves him and says Ben must decide who really wants and accept who he really is. To give himself more time, Ben books tickets for Abi to visit a friend on holiday, and then tells Paul he loves him back. Jay sees them kissing, and tells Ben to admit to Abi that he loves Paul. When Phil is later sent to hospital and informed that he will be dead within 12 months unless he has a liver transplant, Ben, alongside Sharon and Jay, refuse to visit him, and Sharon has him change the locks on the house so Phil cannot enter when he is discharged.

Ben comes to terms with the fact that his mother Kathy has returned to Walford after faking her own death at the hands of her husband, Gavin. He initially refuses to talks to her, disgusted at the fact that she pretended to be dead for almost ten years, but they reconcile. After Abi returns from her trip to Paris with her friend, she realises that Ben may be having an affair with Paul. Ben plans to break up with Abi, but Abi has been manipulated by Babe Smith (Annette Badland), who tells her to announce she is pregnant so that Ben will not leave her. Abi does this publicly and then plans to get pregnant for real but Ben says they cannot have sex because he thinks he may have caught an STI from a stranger, so Abi resorts to having sex with Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard) to try to get pregnant. Ben discovers he has chlamydia, and Abi also has it. She later fakes a miscarriage in an attempt to end her pregnancy lie, but when she upsets Babe, Babe writes Ben a letter revealing the truth. The letter is read by Louise (now played by Tilly Keeper), who has returned, and to keep her from showing it to Ben, Abi allows her to use Phil's credit card. When Ben finds the card, he confronts Abi, but she believes he found the letter so inadvertently reveals she was never pregnant and says that Louise was blackmailing her. Ben takes revenge on Louise in The Queen Vic by putting her head in the toilet. He then seduces Abi and takes her top off, but then drags her into the main bar of the pub, revealing via a karaoke microphone that she invented the pregnancy. Ben then resumes his relationship with Paul with the support of most of his friends and family. Following an agreement with Les and Pam, who make plans to retire and leave Walford, Ben and Paul make arrangements to become the new managers of Coker and Sons. In celebration, they spend a night out together, and are not seen again the next day. Ben's family are alerted by the police that a dead young man whom they believe to be Ben has been found, having been involved in a fight, but upon inspection, the victim is revealed to be Paul. Ben is found by Buster Briggs (Karl Howman) after managing to make his way back to Walford, albeit with major injuries. He explains that he and Paul were cornered by four large men and chased after coming out of a night club, and were separated when running away. When informed of Paul's death, he lashes out in a violent rage, before breaking down in tears in Kathy and Phil's arms.

Ben later visits the Queen Vic to join his neighbours in a toast to Paul's memory, but Paul's grandmother Pam Coker (Lin Blakley) blames him for Paul's death and dubs him the worst thing to ever happen to Paul, wishing he had died instead. Ben wishes the same, and later confesses to Johnny (now played by Ted Reilly) that he and Paul were victims of homophobic namecalling, and despite Paul insisting they ignore the culprits, Ben confronted the men, causing the attack, and thus blames himself for Paul's death. Johnny encourages Ben to report this to the police, and Ben recognises one of the attackers outside the police station. Using the man's car registration number, he gets an address and demands a gun from Phil to seek revenge. Phil tricks Ben and does not get a gun, so Ben goes missing. He returns, having failed to find the man. Paul's body is released, and Ben realises Jay has been using cocaine. Jay and Ben decide to help each other move on from their problems, so Ben decides to let the police find the attackers. However, Ben and Jay change their minds, agreeing to take revenge and then leave Walford together. Louise worries that Ben may be about to get into trouble so asks help from Paul's grandfather, Les Coker (Roger Sloman), who tells Ben not to put his family through what he and Pam are going through, as Ben could be killed too. Ben does promise not to track down Paul's killers but when Jay finds an address and says Ben will regret doing nothing, Ben and Jay leave. They return to Walford after Louise calls to the police, but are then kidnapped by the attackers at the Mitchell home. Ben is rescued by his uncle, Grant, and Grant's son Mark Fowler (Ned Porteous). Jay, who the killers trapped in a van, flees when the police appear. Ben later says a farewell to Jay, who leaves Walford shortly after Paul's funeral and Jay says that they will always be brothers. However, he returns not too long after. Not wanting Phil to die, Ben decides to donate part of his liver to him, but a doctor tells them it will still take time. Despite Ben's discovery that Phil has cut him out of his will, he proceeds with his plan to donate part of his liver, but he is refused by the hospital who are unsatisfied with his answers and emotional responses when interviewed. However, Phil eventually gets a liver transplant.

While Phil and Sharon are on holiday, Ben and Jay move to their own house (18 Albert Square). On Ben's 21st birthday, Jay throws the pair a housewarming party, where Ben and Johnny have a one-night stand after getting drunk. The next day, they both worry that the other wants a relationship but are relieved to realise they just see each other as friends. After Louise suffers severe burns following a disaster at a school prom, against Sharon's request Ben calls Phil who is Italy recovering from his transplant. Ben signs the paperwork for The Arches when Phil decides to hand it over to him and Sharon is left stunned when he decides to give Jay the car lot land. Kathy insists to Phil that he justifies his reasons to Ben about giving Jay the car lot land that is worth more than The Arches. Ben finds a solicitor's letter of Phil's that mentions Raymond and after confronting Phil, Phil tells Ben that Raymond is his half-brother. Ben is angry with Phil for making him feel second best to Phil and Sharon's other children. Ben learns that Phil offered Jay the car lot out of guilt for killing his apparent biological father, Alan Hall, a victim of the car lot fire that Phil had caused 23 years previously in an insurance scam. After a fight with Jay, they make amends.

Ben meets Luke Browning (Adam Astill), the son of James Willmott-Brown (William Boyde), who raped Kathy 30 years previously but is unaware of his identity. They end up kissing and start a sexual relationship, until Ben learns of Luke's family background when Willmott-Brown secretly visits Kathy, and Ben goes to visit Luke with the intention of confronting Willmott-Brown. When Ben meets Willmott-Brown in his office, he confronts him over his actions towards Kathy with a crowbar. Willmott-Brown tells Ben that the sex was consensual and convinces him that he should doubt Kathy's honesty. Ben almost attacks Willmott-Brown but Luke stops him. Feeling that Ben does not trust her, Kathy considers leaving Walford. Ben reluctantly decides to end his relationship with Luke due to the conflicts of interest between Kathy and Willmott-Brown. After a heart to heart with Ben, Kathy decides to remain in Walford and gives Ben and Luke's relationship her blessing. Ben plays a prank on Luke, which backfires when Luke grabs Ben's wrist and threatens him. However, Luke later apologises. Ben accidentally takes Luke's wallet and finds a business card with the words 'Project Dagmar', and confronts Luke about the project as the Dagmar was the bar that Willmott-Brown owned and Kathy worked in when he raped her. Luke lashes out at Ben and physically threatens him. Realising that Ben is a risk to the project being exposed, Luke ends their relationship. Hurt and confused, Ben asks Abi's sister Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa), who works for Luke's firm, Weyland & Co, about the project but she does not know about it. Luke tries to apologise to Ben by buying him a car but Ben continues to reject Luke and he attacks and brutally beats Ben, so Phil has Luke kidnapped and he is not seen again; it later transpires that Luke was brutally killed by his kidnapper, Phil's old prison cellmate, Aidan Maguire (Patrick Bergin), despite Phil's merely requesting that they scare Luke and not kill him.

Following Luke's death and Willmott-Brown's eventual downfall, Phil joins Aidan in a planned heist and they use The Arches to steal the money. However, the stolen money and jewellery goes missing and it is revealed that Ben realized what was going on and stole it from the funeral home where it was being hidden. He sells the jewellery but keeps one necklace, giving it to Kathy, and then plans to leave the country. He leaves after writing a note for Jay. He is cornered on the ferry by Ian's ex-wife Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite) who warns him to give her the money or he will soon be dead. Ben refuses, saying he only took what he deserved. Mel makes a phone call to someone, telling them that Ben is all theirs. When Ben arrives in France, he is stunned to find the money has been replaced by newspapers. However, he is relieved to discover an envelope full of cash in his pocket. Ben gleefully heads for a new life, unaware that Aidan's ex-wife Ciara (Denise McCormack) is watching him.

2019

When Phil and Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) end up in some trouble in Spain, Phil forges Ben's signature, causing Kathy to call Ben to come home, Ben (now played by Max Bowden) returns with Lola and their daughter, Lexi, and after seeing the trouble Phil is in, he agrees to help him. However, it is soon revealed Ben is planning to steal Phil's money and leave him broke and he makes Lola follow every instruction, causing him to get annoyed when she ignores him and ends up kissing Jay in The Vic, however it's soon revealed Lola has a fiancé called Ewan.

Ben secretly witnesses Callum "Halfway" Highway (Tony Clay) attempting to harm himself in the playground. After Ben talks to Halfway about the incident, Halfway then purchases a van from Ben as a gift to his girlfriend Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), although he is later pulled over by the police, who inform him that the van is stolen. Halfway confronts Ben and demands a refund; when Halfway attacks him, Ben realises that Halfway is attracted to men as well as women, which Halfway denies. He then punches Ben when he mocks him. The two later share a kiss.

Character development

On the 2nd October 2017, it was announced that that Harry Reid (Ben Mitchell) had been axed from EastEnders. He will depart in the midst of an "explosive storyline" between Phil Mitchell, Mick Carter and new character Aidan Maguire. Fans were outraged at the news, even launching e-petitions to save Harry from the axe. His exit is expected to air in January/February 2018. An EastEnders spokesperson said "We can confirm that Harry will be leaving EastEnders. Harry has been a great addition to the cast and we wish him all the best for the future." This also signifies another loss to the Mitchell family, who have suffered huge losses in the past few years with the culling of Ronnie, Roxy, Peggy, Grant and Ben.

Gallery

Video

On set with... Harry Reid



EastEnders - Ben Mitchell character trail

EastEnders - Ben Mitchell character trail

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Lou Beale | Andy O'Brien | Pete Beale | Arthur Fowler | Cindy Beale | Steve Owen | Tiffany Mitchell | Ethel Skinner | Angie Watts | Roy Evans | Mark Fowler | Barry Evans | Den Watts | Dennis Rickman | Johnny Allen | Pauline Fowler | Frank Butcher | Archie Mitchell | Nana Moon | Bradley Branning | Pat Evans | Heather Trott | Derek Branning | Lucy Beale | Nick Cotton | Jim Branning | Charlie Slater | Peggy Mitchell | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Ronnie Mitchell | Roxy Mitchell | Steven Beale | Abi Branning | Harold Legg | Hunter Owen
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