EastEnders

It’s the best it’s been for years’ hits back furious EastEnders writer after fan backlash to Max Bowden’s shock axing

Max's party lifestyle and chequered love life have overshadowed his four years on the soap

EASTENDERS writer Daran Little has hit back at viewers after the show faced backlash for axing fan favourite Max Bowden.

It comes after The Sun revealed that Max, who plays Ben Mitchell on the BBC soap, met bosses who decided not to renew his contract when it ends in March.

EastEnders' writer Daran Little has defended the soap

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EastEnders’ writer Daran Little has defended the soapCredit: BBC

Max Bowden has been axed after four years

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Max Bowden has been axed after four yearsCredit: BBC

The BAFTA-winning British television writer Daran has now defended the soap, saying “it’s the best it’s been for years”.

Taking to his X account, Daran wrote: “I’m blocking those who accuse me of hating EE characters.

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“We spend our time coming up with stories and characters, creating balance, listening to viewers and trying to keep a 38 year old soap fresh and relevant.

“It’s the best it’s been for years. Honoured & proud to be part of it.”

Daran, who is currently one of EastEnders’ prominent writers having written many episodes since he joined the crew in August 2010, said he had a major role in the Christmas storylines.

He added: ” Ahhhh I got to write the last EastEnders episode of 2023 … quite a few residents will be happy to see the back of this year!!

“Just amusing myself reading people’s wants for 2024 in EastEnders when we’ve already written months of it and plotted the rest. No spoilers from me.”

Many fans were full of praise for the soap, branding the Christmas episode one of the “best in soap history”.

One wrote: “That was the best Christmas episode of any soap. In history.”

A second commented: “Brilliant work I’m loving it. It’s been a great year, I’m loving The Six.”

A third added: “The show is the best it’s ever been right now. Brilliant writing and storylines.”

But many fans have been left unhappy that Ben Mitchell’s character Max is set to leave the soap next year.

Max’s party lifestyle and chequered love life have overshadowed his four years on the soap.

His character will leave Walford in the spring but is unlikely to be killed off.

Ben has been played by several different actors over the years.

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 EastEnders spokeswoman confirmed yesterday: “Max will be leaving EastEnders next year.

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

EastEnders fans praised the Christmas episode as one of the 'best' in soap history

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EastEnders fans praised the Christmas episode as one of the ‘best’ in soap historyCredit: BBC

Linda Carter stabbed Keanu to death

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Linda Carter stabbed Keanu to deathCredit: BBC

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