Malorie Blackman’s seminal young adult novel Noughts + Crosses finally made it to the screen last night with the first episode debuting on BBC One – and some EastEnders fans may have spotted a familiar face.
Charlie Jones, one of six different actors to have played Phil Mitchell’s son Ben, could be seen playing Danny – the character who was knocked out by police at the start of the episode.
It’s been almost a decade since Jones left the soap, having joined the cast at the age of ten in 2006 and stayed in the role for four years – making him the longest-serving of the six actors to have played Ben.
Some fans reacted with shock to seeing the actor again all these years later, taking to social media to express their feelings.
One viewer tweeted, “WAIT…. Is that original Ben Mitchell!!!!!!”
— Jack Newman (@Janksy_) March 5, 2020
Another wrote, “Enjoyed Noughts and Crosses tonight. Spotted the old Ben Mitchell straight away, too.”
Enjoyed Noughts and Crosses tonight. Spotted the old Ben Mitchell straight away, too. ????????
— NessaInBath (@NessainBath) March 5, 2020
And a third tweeted, “Is the character Danny old Ben from Eastenders all grown up?! Gosh I feel old!”
Is the character Danny old Ben from Eastenders all grown up?! Gosh I feel old! #NoughtsAndCrosses
— Rivie Mayele-Tamina (@MayeleRivie) March 5, 2020
One fan made a reference to a previous storyline concerning Ben, writing “Did OG Ben just get killed the same way he killed Heather? GUYS I CANNOT.”
— Oma nom nom (@MaimunaB) March 5, 2020
This is a reference to the 2012 storyline in which Ben unintentionally killed Heather Trott after he hits her with a picture frame – although this was after Jones had left the soap, with Joshua Pascoe then in the role.
Ben Mitchell is currently played by Max Reid, who took on the character in 2019 after Harry Reid left the soap the previous year.
Noughts and Crosses continues next Thursday at 9pm while the first three episodes are currently available on iPlayer