BBC soap EastEnders will air a special episode that puts viewers in the shoes of someone experiencing hearing loss.
Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) will be the main character, after his began to deteriorate following injuries sustained in the horrifying river boat crash.
The episode has been written and produced with guidance from the National Deaf Children’s Society to ensure it is as accurate a depiction of hearing loss as possible.
The intention is to offer an insight into the experiences of deaf people in the UK today, through limited audio levels and subtitles showing certain words or fractured sentences.
Ben remains determined to help Phil with his dodgy schemes, but one particular plan might well leave him in too deep as it spirals out of control.
Executive producer Jon Sen said: “This special point of view episode is a ground-breaking episode unlike any other attempted in the history of EastEnders.
“Helmed by a compelling performance by Max Bowden, it allows the audience the opportunity to experience the world through Ben’s eyes and ears – a story communicated purely by his dialogue and the snatched words of those around him. I am so proud of what the team have achieved and cannot wait for the fans to see it.”
As previously announced, this storyline will see the introduction of Frankie, a new deaf character played by Rose Ayling-Ellis, who Callum encourages to meet with Ben.
Vicki Kirwin, an audiology specialist at the National Deaf Children’s Society, added: “It was an absolute privilege to work with the team, who were so dedicated to making sure they got this right.
“This ground-breaking episode will give viewers a glimpse into the challenges many deaf people in the UK come up against each and every day, with brilliant technical skill to make viewers feel some sense of what Ben Mitchell is experiencing.”
The special episode of EastEnders exploring hearing loss will air on BBC One in the coming weeks.
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