EastEnders

Max Bowden tipped for ITV Celebrity Big Brother after BBC EastEnders axing

Fans of departing BBC EastEnders actor Max Bowden are hopeful he will head straight to the Celebrity Big Brother house when his contract with the soap comes to an end in March

Fans of EastEnders star Max Bowden believe he is being lined up for returning Celebrity Big Brother

EastEnders fans believe one soon-to-be previous star could be entering the Celebrity Big Brother house.

29-year-old Max Bowden has played the role of Ben Mitchell for the past four years, but it appears his time in Albert Square is almost up. Max became the sixth person to play Ben when he was cast in 2019, and although his exit storyline is reportedly still in its planning stage, Max is likely to depart in the spring following the expiry of his contract in March.

The departure would prove perfect timing for him to swap the BBC for ITV, meanwhile, with the rebooted CBB rumoured to be returning in the same month following a six-year absence from our screens. Excited viewers have long been speculating the identities of the famous housemates and now Max’s name has been added to the list.

Max's Ben Mitchell character is set to depart Albert Square in March

Max’s Ben Mitchell character is set to depart Albert Square in March 

Image:

BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Writing on X (formerly Twitter), one user declared: “Let the battle for a spot on Celebrity Big Brother begin!” before sharing snaps of Max, his co-star Shona McGarty and former Albert Square colleagues Lorraine Stanley and Danny Walters. “Max would be great,” another replied.

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A third added: “Manifesting Max or Shona”. A fourth said: “Max Bowden for Celebrity Big Brother then?” And a fifth penned: “That [Max] would be a great signing!!” However, ITV are yet to confirm which famous faces will be entering the mega-house.

A spokeswoman for EastEnders told the Mirror last week: “Max will be leaving EastEnders next year. We wish him all the best for the future.” According to reports, the Beeb decided to take action despite the award-winning star winning over viewers with his portrayal of Phil Mitchell’s son. Ben has been at the centre of some huge storylines in the past four years, including his eating disorder battle after being raped by Lewis Butler, but his off-screen antics have frustrated bosses.

A TV insider told The Sun: “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.”

EastEnders writer Daran Little has been forced to defend the show’s decision to part with Max, meanwhile, following a backlash on social media. Last week he took to X to declare: “I’m blocking those who accuse me of hating EE characters. 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!”

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