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EastEnders Wiki

Benny Bloom made his first appearance on 25 August 1988. He is portrayed by Arnold Yarrow.


Benny is a Jewish bricklayer who lived with his wife, Golda, at 5 Albert Square during World War II, later retiring to Clacton where Golda died. Benny first appears, visiting his old friend Dr Harold Legg and begins spending time with Ethel Skinner, who is also an old friend of his. As Benny and Ethel spend more time together, their friendship blossoms into a romance. A very drunk Benny later propositions Ethel, asking her to move in with him. Ethel initially thinks the offer is for a proposal of marriage, but when she realises that his motives are less than honourable she is furious and smashes his Issy Bonn records over his head. When relaying her concerns to her friend Dot Cotton, Ethel confesses that she does love Benny, which angers Dot as she feels that Benny is an old pervert and she tells Ethel to stay well clear of him.

Ethel and Benny reconcile, and over lunch Benny decides to propose to Ethel, this time for marriage. However, Dot has heard that Benny plans to propose and in a bid to prevent her best friend from accepting, she turns up at their luncheon and brands Ethel stupid for considering marriage, saying she could never be happy with a Jew, as they were "different". Ethel accuses Dot of anti-Semitism and just to spite Dot, she agrees to marry Benny. However, Ethel becomes unsure when Benny relays all the domestic duties he expects from her. The final straw comes when Benny informs Ethel that her pug Willy will not be able to stay at the manor where he lives, due to a "no pets" rule. Ethel cannot consider parting with her dog, so the engagement is called off.

This is Benny's last appearance on the Square, but a few months later the residents hear news that Benny has died and he has left Ethel £2,000 in his will.

List of appearances[]


  1. 25 August 1988
  2. 30 August 1988
  3. 1 September 1988
  4. 6 September 1988
  5. 22 September 1988
  6. 29 September 1988
  7. 11 October 1988
  8. 13 October 1988
  9. 27 October 1988
  10. 1 November 1988
  11. 3 November 1988
  12. 13 December 1988
  13. 15 December 1988
  14. 27 December 1988


  1. 10 January 1989
  2. 19 January 1989