Ballum fans should brace themselves as their favourite pair face a difficult time in EastEnders next week when Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) is arrested after becoming involved with an old enemy, leading Callum Highway (Tony Clay) to make a heartbreaking decision about their future.
Since Ben’s bang on the head in the boat disaster, Callum has stepped up and been there for his boyfriend as he struggles with significant hearing loss. Frustrated at how hard it is to communicate, brooding Ben is desperate to prove he won’t be beaten by not being able to hear properly.
So when rival gangster Danny Hardcastle tracks him down with an offer of coming in on a dodgy deal, Ben is severely tempted – despite promising copper-in-training Callum he was done with his family’s dark side.
A hospital appointment confirms an operation to repair Ben’s sensory issue could be weeks away, sending the mechanic spiralling into self-pity which doesn’t go unnoticed by concerned Callum, who warns him off getting involved with Danny having seen him back on the Square.
He obviously needs a reminder that last time the horrid Hardcastle was in town, Ben’s sister Louise Mitchell ended up kidnapped as a result of the clashing criminals’ feud.
Refusing to be told what to do, tempestuous Ben strops off and decides to take Danny up on his offer – while not revealing his health struggles. On Thursday 19th March, Callum prepares for his assessment to join the police force but when he hears from Ruby Allen that Ben is at the club he fears the worst.
Tracking his fella down to his pow-wow with Danny, Callum causes a scene as admits his links to the police force and Ben is forced to come clean about his hearing.
With the deal dead in the water, and Danny angry at the deceit, livid Ben tears a trip off Callum and drowns his sorrows at the Prince Albert where he flirts with a sharp-suited fittie called Hugo. Laying on the charm, volatile Ben decides to have some fun and steals the fella’s car in search of some much-needed adrenaline rush after all the aggro with Callum.
Unfortunately, Ben gets pulled over by the police and arrested…
Callum is, unsurprisingly, not impressed at Ben’s behaviour when he learns of the run-in with the law on Friday 20th March, and makes a big decision.
Has Ben blown his chances for a happy ending yet again, just weeks after almost losing Callum when vengeful Keanu Taylor kidnapped him and left him for dead in a warehouse? And what will the long-term impact of Ben’s hearing difficulties be on the tormented character?
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