EastEnders’ Max Bowden issued stern warning after being ‘axed’ following showdown with bosses

His character Ben Mitchell will leave Walford in the spring

EASTENDERS actor Max Bowden has been issued a stern warning after being “axed” following a showdown with bosses.

The Sun exclusively revealed last week how the actor’s contract with the soap will not be renewed when it ends in March.

Max Bowden has been given a warning ahead of his EastEnders exit
Max Bowden has been given a warning ahead of his EastEnders exitCredit: Getty
The actor plays Phil Mitchell's son Ben on the soap
The actor plays Phil Mitchell’s son Ben on the soapCredit: BBC

Max’s character Ben – who he has played for four years – will leave Walford in the spring but is unlikely to be killed off.

However, the actor has been told to “be smart” if he wants to make it big after life as a soap star.

Dom Aldworth, Head of Brand Marketing at Slingo told the Daily Star. that “the noise and headlines” surrounding Max’s personal life at the moment “have been cited as potentially distracting from the drama on the show, a concern for the EastEnders bosses”.

He said: “If Bowden is serious about progressing in his career, he will need to remain focused and try to stay out of any drama.”

It was previously revealed that Max’s private life hitting the headlines was a concern for EastEnders bosses.

The Sun were the ones to break the story that Max had been given the boot from the soap.

Over the years the character has been played by several different actors.

A TV insider said: “Max has played Ben for the last four years and bosses decided his time on the show was up.

“There has been a lot of noise around him for a bit too long and that can take away from the drama on the show.

“He went in for a meeting as his contract was up for renewal next year.

“No one knew how it was going to go and following discussions it was decided that he would leave.

“Bosses have yet to plan his exit storyline but Ben is not a character that they would kill off as we’ve already seen in all the previous recasts.”

An spokeswoman for the soap confirmed: “Max will be leaving EastEnders next year.

“We wish him all the best for the future.”

Max was caught up in real-life drama behind the scenes at Albert Square when his love life began to resemble an EastEnders plotline.

In May 2022, he started to date 32-year-old Shona McGarty, who plays Whitney Dean.

At the time, Max’s insurance executive partner Roisin Buckle, 38, was pregnant and thought they were just on a break.

She said she was left feeling “humiliated and disrespected” by the scandal.

However, the co-stars’ whirlwind romance ended six months later and soon after The Sun on Sunday revealed Shona was quitting EastEnders after 15 years to pursue other projects.

Despite their split Max and Shona have remained good friends.

Earlier this year he said: “We’re actually better than ever.

“It’s a friendship.

“We’re in such a good place.

“You take a risk, and you do something and it doesn’t work out, but that’s life.

“You’ve got to take that risk.”

He was later linked to Love Island star Olivia Hawkins after the pair slipped away to his dressing room during a soap set party.

During his time on the soap Max — who is the sixth actor to play Ben — has been involved in some of the show’s biggest storylines.

He was involved in Danielle Harold’s heartbreaking brain tumour storyline as the character she played, Lola Pearce-Brown, was mum to his daughter, Lexi.

Ben struggled to cope with her death and developed eating disorder bulimia.

The source said: “Max has tackled some serious storylines in the last year, especially when his character stopped eating before breaking down and admitting that he had a problem.

“It opens the door to a number of ways his character could leave Walford next year.

“Plans for his exit will get under way after the Christmas break but he’s expected to be on screen until the spring.

“And, of course, if they decide to bring him back at some point the character could always be recast for a seventh time.”

The Sun on Sunday also recently reported that Max had escaped unhurt from a three-car collision.

He was pictured looking shocked as he emerged from his wrecked Mercedes CLA in the middle of the day.

His motor was left with its front bumper hanging off and is believed to be a write-off.

No injuries or arrests were reported after the crash in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.

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