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EastEnders to introduce gay love interest for Ben Mitchell

Gabby Jeffries May 15, 2015

EastEnders is set to introduce a new male love interest for existing character Ben Mitchell.

The long-running BBC soap is set in coming weeks to introduce Jonny Labey as Paul Coker – the grandson of established regulars Les and Pam Coker.

A new trailer for the soap reveals a romance hinted at by show bosses between Coker and notorious Ben Mitchell – who was previously jailed for murder and has previously struggled with his sexuality.

The tralier features a brief shot of the pair kissing passionately, despite Mitchell previously dismissing his sexuality as a “phase” and trying relationships with women.

Mitchell, currently played by Harry Reid, was previously at the heart of a love triangle with Sam Strike’s character Johnny Carter and Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald).

Sam Strike quit the soap earlier this year – claiming: “I didn’t really feel like at the time my character was necessarily needed in EastEnders.”

Reid previously explained to Digital Spy of his character’s sexuality earlier this year: “Ben is a conniving bloke.

“He will come across as though he wants to change, but at the same time as he’s with Abi, he is very interested in Johnny.

“I think he’d quite like a secret gay life in which he can sleep with men, but on the outside, he is this straight guy who is with his girl.

“It’s a ‘better image’ for the Mitchells – that’s all it is. If he was a Beale, it probably wouldn’t be a problem, but because it is the Mitchell family, Ben thinks he needs that image of him with a woman by his side – whereas in the background he can do what he wants.”

“It is a very difficult subject as these sorts of things are sensitive, so it would be nice for people to see that there are people you can talk to.

“I think it’s good that they have incorporated this into the script as it’s something that needs to be covered.”

The soap is also set to introduce its first transgender character.

Watch the trailer below:

More: Ben Mitchell, EastEnders, Gay, show, Soap, Television

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