Former EastEnders star Harry Reid has hit out at the decision to axe him from the cast.
The actor played Ben Mitchell until 2018 when the character fled Walford for a life abroad after stealing the heist money from gangsters.
Earlier this year fans were shocked when it was announced Ben was returning to Albert Square - but with a new face.
Actor Max Bowden took on the role and was quickly accepted by viewers.
And despite an initial period when Harry publicly supported Max being cast, he has now admitted he isn't happy about it.
Speaking on Sussex Radio, Harry revealed he was originally told that he would be coming back.
He said: "I was told I was coming back and obviously they didn’t bring me back so that hurt.
"But this is the game I’m in and I never came into this game wanting to play one part. I wanted to play multiple different characters.
"It’s a shame."
He added of the recasting: "I was disappointed because I didn’t see the need for it, and personally I still don’t."
But while Harry was critical of the decision to replace him as Ben Mitchell, he had nothing but praise for his on-screen father Steve McFadden.
Harry said: "I might lose friends for saying this but I think he’s the hardest worker there.
"Whenever I worked closely with Steve I felt inspired, excited, very much in the moment. He is scary if you like but only because he’s very particular in his craft.
"If he comes in and has to be miserable as Phil, he’ll be miserable. He’s a lovely bloke. He’s fantastic. Working with him was great. I learned so much working with him."
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