EastEnders’ Max Bowden address Callum death rumours: “It would affect Ben hugely”

Ballum might be over after the 35th anniversary boat disaster

eastenders ben mitchell callum highway

The rumour mill is in overdrive as to who will perish in EastEnders’ upcoming boat disaster. The soap marks its 35th anniversary in February with a river-based stunt providing the backdrop to a week of “life-changing drama”, and have confirmed there will be at least one death when a boat party on the Thames ends in tragedy.


With the mighty Mitchells set to be at the heart of the action, Max Bowden told RadioTimes.com the fatality could be any of the cast, and there’s increasing speculation his alter ego Ben Mitchell’s on/off lover Callum Highway (Tony Clay) might be going overboard. As life-changing twists go, that would be pretty huge for Phil’s tormented offspring…

“Callum represents a chink of hope for Ben,” says the actor, shortlisted as Best Newcomer in this year’s is year’s National Television Awards. “As we get to EastEnders‘ anniversary week Ben is already in a bad place because of all the recent rows with Callum.

“It would massively affect Ben’s psychic hugely if he wasn’t to have some glimpse of happiness with him. And when Ben’s not happy, it doesn’t go well, does it? Bad things happen…

Bowden acknowledges the impact of Ben’s unlikely romance with Callum, subsequently dubbed #Ballum by loyal online fans. “At first it blindsided the audience as it came out of nowhere, but it felt absolutely right. Two working class men finding solace and common ground in one another really spurred the audience to invest.

eastenders ben mitchell callum highway

“I think the Ballum story has allowed people to feel free in themselves, and a lot of why the audience has connected to Ben over the last year is probably down to that.

Bowden won’t be drawn on details of the imminent death, despite almost daily glimpses of location filming sparking all sorts of speculation, but did promise fans will be surprised. “It’s going to be a very shocking time, but it will be brilliant telly and we’re having an absolute ball making it.

“We’ve been on location filming on a boat on the Thames, and were literally in the eye of storm one night! But it’s great to get out of the studio sometimes and explore locations and do different things. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Would EastEnders pour more misery on Ben by having him grieve for another tragic other half, just a few years after the murder of ex Paul Coker left him bereft until he found love again with Callum?


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