EastEnders actor Max Bowden is leaving his role as Ben Mitchell in the TV series in the new year.
Confirming the move, a BBC spokesperson said: “We wish him all the best for the future.”
He has played the son of Phil Mitchell and Kathy Beale since 2019 – a role previously played by Harry Reid, Charlie Jones and Joshua Pascoe.
It’s unclear whether his character will be killed off or return at some stage.
Bowden was named soap superstar of 2023 at the Inside Soap Awards.
Since Bowden took over the role, her character’s storylines have included: a descent into crime, romance with Callum (Tony Clay), rivalry with Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) and Martin Fowler (James Bye), family feuds with father Phil, and victimhood. homophobic attacks.
Her latest storylines involve dealing with the death of Lola Pearce-Brown (Danielle Harold), trying to be involved in their daughter Lexi’s life and struggling with the eating disorder bulimia.
During the Inside Soap Awards in September, Harold won the best actress award as Lola’s life came to an end following a brain tumor diagnosis.
The character of Ben Mitchell first appeared in the BBC series in 1996 – but it was ‘baby Ben’ played by a child actor.
Bowden has also been in Waterloo Road (playing Justin Fitzgerald in the BBC1 series) and appeared on stage in Birdsong and The Haunting Of Alice Bowles.