EastEnders actor Harry Reid has spoken out in defence of his popular character’s exit storyline after some fans claimed it was something of a let down.
Ben was last seen trying to head out of Walford, with a suitcase full of stolen loot – yes, that elusive missing money from the New Year’s heist – only to arrive at Calais with nothing more than a bag full of Walford Gazettes.
Villainous Ciara Maguire, the rightful owner of the ill-gotten gains, was lurking around when Ben’s ferry docked in France, but we’re not really sure if she caught up with him, or if Ben’s happily living la vie in France.
Harry Reid spoke to Digital Spy exclusively at last night’s NTA awards to defend Ben’s exit against claims it was an anti-climax.
He said: “I think Ben’s exit was really good. I think a mixed reaction might have come from the fact that Ben wasn’t a main central focus of the storyline.”
He went on to add that he thought it was very much in Ben’s nature to ‘deceive everyone and walk away’ – even if the fandom doesn’t agree.
Harry also spoke about his surprise when he learned Ben was being written out after a successful three years on the show, but isn’t disappointed about it.
He said: “But I never wanted to stay in EastEnders for my entire life. I’ve always said that, so actually I’m happy with the run that I’ve had. I’m privileged to have had that, because I had great storylines.”
EastEnders has come under fire recently for getting rid of too many of the BBC One soap’s popular young characters.
As well as Harry, Lorna Fitzgerald and Jacqueline Jossa – Abi and Lauren Branning – and Ted Reilly who plays Johnny Carter have been culled.
But, on the plus side Ben hasn’t been killed off, so there’s always the chance he could return to Walford in the future – with a beret and a French accent.
EastEnders is on TONIGHT at 8pm on BBC One