EastEnders newcomer Max Bowden has addressed fan controversy over the surprising and dark twist that has seen his character Ben Mitchell involved in the crime of child trafficking.
With Ben falling into the dangerous world thanks to Danny Hardcastle (Paul Usher), fans were stunned to see that there was more than a hardened edge to the latest incarnation of Ben – he was an outright villain and many are concerned that this will put a shelf life on his character.
Of course, long term viewers wouldnt be too surprised by the fact that Ben has turned out this way. Always wanting to be accepted by a dad embroiled in crime who constantly dismissed him, Ben was also tortured by his stepmother.
His damaged family life led to him to off the rails, attacking a fellow child with a spanner and burning Louise with teaspoons like Stella did to him.
His criminality deepened when he murdered Heather Trott in cold bood and subsequently he had to deal with the enormous shock of his mum Kathy Beale being revealed as alive and the devastating loss of the love of his life Paul.
He was used and abused by businessman Luke Browning and Ben finally decided to take control by trying to steal the cash of gangster Aidan Maguire.
To have expected Ben to arrive back in Walford full of sunlight and repentence was always going to be a stretch – and Max has admitted that while Ben is badder than ever and seemingly now out for himself no matter who he hurts, its perfectly within character.
Responding to Twitter backlash over what Ben has become, Max tweeted: FYI Ben Mitchell is not here looking to be mother Teresa.