Things have been so dramatic over in Albert Square of late that it’s easy to forget that a huge character exit is in the pipeline, with it being confirmed last year that Harry Reid, who plays Ben Mitchell, is leaving EastEnders.
Little is known about Ben’s fast-approaching exit, but a new theory has emerged off the back of his dad, Phil Mitchell’s, botched robbery.
On Thursday [4 January] night’s episode, fans saw Phil abandoned by Aidan Maguire and the rest of the gang after they dug up a grave in a desperate bid to find the money that they had secured in the heist.
With police sirens growing louder, all of the men scarpered aside from Phil, who was stuck in the grave.
At the moment, it hasn’t been revealed whether or not Phil will be caught by authorities, however, newly released images from upcoming episodes show Ben and Jay being shown a photo of Aidan by police officials.
If Phil is in trouble because of Aidan, it isn’t unlikely that Ben would leap into action and track the Irish criminal down – a dangerous move as viewers know exactly what the shifty character is capable of.
It has also been theorised that Aidan’s ex Ciara is in cahoots with returning EastEnders’ character Mel Owen, played by Tamzin Outhwaite – Mel has a long history with Phil, so could she, Ben and Ciara be working together to bring down Aidan and save Phil’s bacon?
When Harry’s exit as Ben was confirmed by show bosses, Aaron Sidwell, who played Steven Beale in the soap, was accused of giving away a huge spoiler about Ben’s fate in an Instagram post.
Sharing a photo of Harry, Aaron wrote: “This stylish mother f**ker is gonna smash it. Big future ahead my brother. #GayBen #Family #IanBealeIsABadLuckCharm”.
Aaron played Ian’s son in the soap and was killed off in a fire last year, and with Ben being Ian Beale’s half-brother, Aaron’s inclusion of the hashtag: ‘Ian Beale is a bad luck charm’ sent fans into a frenzy, with the star’s followers asking if this meant that the much-loved bad boy will also be meeting his end in the coming months.
One wrote: “Erm, please tell me that he doesn’t die???”
Another added: “Nooooo they can’t kill off Ben. I’ll have to stop watching.”
Will Phil end up paying the ultimate price for his freedom? Only time will tell.