There are potentially fatal consequences of Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) losing his hearing in EastEnders - brand new spoiler pictures from tomorrow's episode show the moody mechanic is almost hit by a speeding motorbike when he steps out into the road and doesn't hear the vehicle coming towards him.
Ben suffered a serious head injury on the doomed party boat during EastEnders' recent action-packed 35th anniversary episodes and this week it was revealed the incident has had a severe impact on his hearing.
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Already partially deaf in one ear from having meningitis as a baby, doctors have confirmed Ben can now barely hear anything and is struggling to communicate. The soap has employed a special stylistic device by muffling the sound in some of Ben's scenes to allow viewers to share his damaged sensory experience.
Despite the joy of finally finding boyfriend Callum Highway alive in the warehouse Keanu Taylor left him in, Ben blames himself for his fella's plight and spirals into despair.
On Friday 28th February, he's distracted while crossing the road and walks into the path of a bike - luckily, mum Kathy Mitchell is there and she rushes to save him - but is she too late? Could tragedy strike the Mitchells again just days after Dennis Rickman's death?
And how will Callum react if his lover ends up fighting for his life just as they are reunited?
Even if Ben is injured, it feels pretty safe to assume he's not being killed off as EastEnders has confirmed the hearing loss storyline is set to run for a while, and will introduce a new character called Frankie, played by deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.
Her introduction, and Ben's ongoing condition to adapt to the change in his hearing, will explore the day-to-day lives of young deaf people in the UK, aiming to raise awareness of the issues they face.
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