Former EastEnders actor Harry Reid has revealed his shock when he discovered his character Ben Mitchell was being recast.
The actor, who filmed his last scenes in late 2017, has revealed he was told his character would never be recast.
But just a week before the announceent took place, he was told that new EastEnders actor Max Bowden would be taking on the mantle, becoming the sixth Ben Mitchell in the show.
In a frank interview with Digital Spy, Harry said: "They told me that they were going to recast him about a week before it was announced.
Harry Reid was the last actor to play Ben
Harry played Ben Mitchell between 2014 and 2018
(Image: BBC/Kieron McCarron)
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"To be honest, I was shocked because I didn’t expect that they were going to recast the role. I was told that they weren’t going to recast."
Despite being thoroughly surprised by this news, however, he was not upset, and has been thoroughly amazed by the increible response from fans on Twitter .
He said: "But at the same time, it didn’t upset me, which is what a lot of the fans are saying. One particular fan called Elizabeth, who’s supported me a lot, posted, ‘I hate to think that Harry will be sat there upset about it.’ I’m not and that’s what I want people to understand.
"This is business and this is the game that we’re in. The acting industry is very cut-throat. I’ve said before that I didn’t come into this industry to play one part, because I love exploring different characters’ lives and personalities."
Ben Mitchell is returning with Max Bowden now playing him
(Image: BBC / Jack Barnes)
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Harry wished the new star luck with a part which is "a lot of fun," but only said the recast has confirmed that he can not return to the show.
He has said the door was not fully closed before the part was recast, but now he feels he can not return to the role, which he finds "a shame and frustrating."
The actor also said he and new EastEnders boss Kate Oates have had a great chat over email, and says he is going to meet her for lunch soon to chat.
EastEnders airs Mondays and Fridays at 8pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC1.
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