TV newcomer Harry Reid is heading to Albert Square to play bad boy Ben Mitchell - the fifth actor to take on the role in EastEnders.
He will be seen on screen later this year when former jailbird Ben returns to the show after viewers discovered earlier this year that he had been given an early prison release.
Reid, who worked as a chef in a Marco Pierre White diner before training as an actor, replaces Joshua Pascoe, who bowed out of the BBC1 soap in 2012 after two years.
Ben was locked up for the killing of Heather Trott and returns to Walford because, according to programme bosses he has “unfinished business” with many of the show regulars including his estranged father Phil (Steve McFadden).
Reid – who graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth last year – said: “I’m very excited to be joining EastEnders – not only because it’s a great show but also to be playing Ben, a character that is so renowned and from such an iconic family.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and working closely with the legendary Steve McFadden. I can’t wait to become a fully-fledged Mitchell.”
The programme’s executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: “Ben’s half Beale and half Mitchell and Harry perfectly encapsulates both the Mitchell danger and Beale heart that make Ben such a complex character.
“Ben’s return to the Square is going to have big repercussions for his family, his friends – and his enemies. Plus a few residents he hasn’t even met yet.”