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You need slapping down!
~ Ben Mitchell to Jordan Johnson before attacking him with a wrench in 2010 which later became a meme.

Ben Mitchell is a major villainous protagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He originally appeared as an infant from 1996 to 2001 before becoming a supporting protagonist from 2006 and went onto serve as the main protagonist in 2007, a supporting character in 2008-2009, anti-hero in 2010, anti-hero turned major antagonist in 2011, the secondary antagonist in 2012, a mentioned character in 2013, one of the main protagonists in 2014-2018, and the protagonist villains/anti-hero in 2019-2022 onwards.

The character is portrayed currently by Max Bowden, having been formerly played by Charlie Jones in his first stint; Joshua Pascoe in his second stint; and Harry Reid in his third stint.

History

Ben Mitchell was born at an Albert Square at Walford, a fictional borough in East London, on 21 March 1996; concieved by the square's criminal hardman Phil Mitchell and his second wife Kathy Beale. Over the years their marriage broke down due to Phil's alcoholism and in the end Kathy left the square with Ben to start anew in South Africa.

Throughout the years, Kathy got married to her estranged husband Gavin Sullivan and allegedly the pair were killed in a car crash in 2006; it was then Ben was sent to Walford to live with his father not long after both Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell had brought their gangland enemy, Johnny Allen, to justice for killing his successor Andy Hunter and ordering the death of fellow hardman Dennis Rickman before 2006. Thereafter Phil found himself at loggerheads with Kathy's son Ian Beale, also Ben's half-brother, over who should look after Ben - eventually he chose to live with Phil but remained on good terms with Ian.

In 2007, Ben disliked Phil's girlfriend Stella Crawford. It was then Stella began abusing Ben for months until he eventually spilled the truth to his father on their wedding day; Stella later committed suicide and was disgraced by everyone in Walford for the ordeal she put Ben through. Not long afterwards, Phil and Ben's relationship was strained to the point where he nearly abused him until Phil's uncle Archie Mitchell talked him out of it - as Phil had been abused in the past by his late father and Archie's brother Eric, which was caused by the fact that both Eric and Archie had been mistreated by their late father Phillip in the past as well. In 2010, Ben went to prison for attacking his enemy Jordan Johnson on a GBH charge and was confronted by the latter's father Lucas Johnson about it.

By the time he has been released in 2010, Ben has somewhat evolved into a much more antagonistic individual. He grows jealous of his best friend Jay Brown being appointed as Phil's surrogate son and later falls out with Phil's fiance Shirley Carter. Soon enough Ben further resents his father after coming out as gay, to which Phil is unhappy with after local general practitioner Yusef Khan informs him about Ben's odd behaviour. Thereupon Ben sets out to get revenge and begins stalking Phil over the knowledge of his past crimes, such as the death of his old nemesis Steve Owen in 2002. Eventually, Ben sets up Phil for Stella's death and reveals the truth to him.

However, Phil is released in 2012 after Ian tells the police that Ben had lied. Ben wrongfully asserts that Shirley's best-friend, Heather Trott, grassed him up to the police and confronts her about it. The confronation ends in tragedy when Ben brutally smacks Heather on the head with a picture frame, killing her as a result. Phil thereupon arrives to find that Ben has killed Heather and ends up covering up the crime. Months later, Ben reveals the truth to Shirley and she disowns him and Phil for what they did. Ben turns himself into the police for Heather's murder and goes to prison, but not after it later transpired that he had sex with fellow relative Lola Pearce and got her pregnant with their baby - Lexi.

In 2014, Ben is released and gets acquainted with Phil's new wife Sharon Watts. A year later he is implicated for the murder of Ian's daughter Lucy Beale, who in reality was murdered by her younger brother Bobby Beale; that same night, it is revealed that Kathy is alive. Eventually Ben learns of his mother's return and they reconcile, whilst Phil frames his business rival Max Branning for Lucy's murder in order to prevent Ben from facing police investigation.

In 2016, Ben reunites with his sister Louise Mitchell. They are devastated when their grandmother Peggy dies from suicide due to her cancer, but a much more devastating incident occurs later on when Ben and his boyfriend Paul Coker are subjugated to a homophobic attack; Ben survives but Paul dies, leaving Ben devastated and vengeful against the killers. In 2017, he learns that his mother was raped by her former boss James Willmott-Brown whilst dating his son Luke Browning at the same time. When Ben threatens to expose their illict activities, Luke attacks him and hospilatizes him. Phil later arranges for Luke to be kidnapped by his old partner-in-crime Aidan Maguire, who ends up killing Luke against his reservations. Following this, Ben flees Walford with the money that Phil and Aidan had for an armed robbery.

In 2019, Ben returns with his family and it turns out that he is involved with Phil's latest criminal rival Danny Hardcastle along with fellow competitior Midge. At one point Ben arranges for Midge to kidnap Louise in order to start a war between Phil and Danny in the hopes of taking over the Mitchell empire. But in the end Ben's plan is foiled and exposed, prompting Phil to cast him aside afterwards. This continued even after Phil is hospilatized by Archie's killer Stacey Slater. Eventually, though, Ben and Phil reconcile after Ben later gets shot by Louise's ex-boyfriend and Steve's convicted son Hunter during a raid in The Queen Vic; Hunter is eventually killed by a police marksman, whilst his mother and Steve's widow Mel Healy would later be killed months later in a road accident. Thereafter Ben helps Phil confront Louise's boyfriend Keanu Taylor for having an affair with Sharon behind their back. That same year, Ben gets romantically involved with policeman Callum Highway and they eventually get married.

In 2022, Ben will feature in a high-profile storyline that is set to take centre stage of the year - in which he will be raped by his new "friend" Lewis Butler.

Trivia

  • The two infants who played the character were Matthew Silver from 1996-1998 and then Morgan Whittle from 1999-2001.
  • The character Ben Mitchell has been acclaimed to the point where the actors who portrayed him were nominated for several awards because of their respective performances; at one point Joshua Pascoe was nominated for the "Villain of the Year" award at the 2012 British Soap Awards ceremony.
  • Ben Mitchell is the first character in EastEnders to have been featured in a male rape storyline.
  • In the Who Killed Archie Mitchell?" storyline, Ben has been suspected as the culprit on a number of occasions; this turned out to be false when the killer was eventually revealed to be Archie's rape victim Stacey Slater.

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