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EastEnders star Max Bowden: 'Lovely' that Ballum has helped people to come out

EastEnders Ben Mitchell played by Max Bowden
(Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

'One of our story team calls it the greatest love story ever told'

EastEnders star Max Bowden has said it’s "lovely" that the on screen relationship between Ben Mitchell and Callum Highway has helped people to come out in real life.

Fans were over the moon earlier this week when the couple enjoyed an Albert Square reunion following their split in December when Ben’s involvement in Phil’s revenge plan against Keanu stepped up.

And Ben, 25, today spoke about the amazing reaction the pair were getting and how it has helped people come out, telling Lorraine: “We’ve had people feeling they’re able to come out and that’s a lovey thing to hear.”

Talking more about Ballum, Ben said: “One of our story team calls it the greatest love story ever told, which I’d like to get on board with. What’s great about the whole Ballum relationship is that it’s the story of two working class boys who have found common ground.

"And for Callum it’s the story of coming out and Ben is that release figure to allow that to happen.”

Ben and Callum break up in EastEnders

Ben left Callum heartbroken when he ended things in December (Picture: BBC)

However, hopes that the pair would be quickly back together were dashed when Ben confessed to Callum (Tony Clay) that he “killed” Keanu (Danny Walters).

“You know the whole relationship with Callum, there’s ups and downs. I think that’s what the audience has bought into, nothing is plain sailing. Who wants plain sailing?!,” teased Max.

Keanu EastEnders

Ben thinks Keanu is dead... but fans know otherwise! (Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Max said he was enjoying the fact that Ben doesn’t know that Keanu is still alive while the audience does. “The audience knowing something the character does not is always quite fun,” he said.

Meanwhile, Max spoke about the great time he’d had during his first year on EastEnders and his delight at being nominated in the Most Popular Newcomer category in the upcoming National Television Awards.

Max revealed that he’s taking his nan along to the annual awards bash. “Nan told me she’s going to need a clutch bag for the event,” he beamed.

EastEnders continues on BBC1.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!