TV

Axed EastEnders star admits he’s now “glad” he was written out of the soap

Harry Reid - aka Ben Mitchell - can see the positives of moving on with his acting career

Former EastEnders star Harry Reid believes being cut from the BBC One soap has helped spur him on to chase new acting opportunities.

Two months on from character Ben Mitchell’s last scenes in Walford playing out, the 25-year-old has said he is “glad” he was written out of the show – despite previously admitting he didn’t see his departure from the show coming.

Harry admitted being a regular member of the cast was a tempting proposition and had its benefits, even though he now feels motivated to stretch himself in different roles.

Read more: EastEnders’ Harry Reid teases big storyline coming up for Jay Brown

“There’s obviously an essence of job security there,” he said on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch earlier today.

“As an actor, it is such a hard thing. You want to pay the bills and you want to do the job you love. So you do have to make a choice.

“Obviously, I told you last time they wrote me out so they kind of gave me that push, but it was one that I’m glad they did, because now I can go out and do other stuff.”

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Consequently, the Kent-born actor is currently treading the boards of The Old County Hall on London’s South Bank in Witness for the Prosecution, his stage debut.

He plays a man accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth who has to convince the jury of his innocence to escape execution.

Harry – who has previously compared the pressure of appearing on the soap to having a second life – also revealed his concerns about being typecast in future while his contracts were being renegotiated during his time on the soap.

He said: “Me and my management always had talks about it.”

“I always did want to renew because I loved the character but it was always in the back of our heads at some point to leave, because I did want to do other stuff.

“And, as we know, in castings you do get type cast if you’re there for too long, no matter how good you are.”

Fans certainly seemed to be happy to see him back on the box after viewers last saw Ben fleeing to France in January.

Sunday Brunch is on Channel 4, Sundays at 9.30am.

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