BEN Mitchell dices with death in EastEnders tonight – when he steps out in front of a speeding motorbike after failing to hear it.
Max Bowden's character has gone almost completely deaf after suffering a head injury in the boat disaster that claimed the life of Dennis Mitchell.
And it looks like he might be about to suffer a similar fate as the vehicle races towards him in Friday night's trip to Albert Square.
Luckily, Kathy Beale spots what happens and rushes to his rescue – but will she get to him in time to save his life?
EastEnders viewers have become used to Ben's struggle with additional hearing loss with the audio often becoming muted during scenes where other characters talk to him.
As The Sun revealed earlier this week, the storyline will see the introduction of the soap's first mainstream deaf character.
Rose Ayling-Ellis will make her debut as Frankie as Albert Square residents reel from the tragic boat crash.
Frankie is put in touch with Ben through boyfriend Callum Highway, played by Tony Clay.
A soap insider said: “Ben’s life is going to be turned upside down but, thanks to Frankie, he gets some unexpected help.
“The storyline will highlight some of the challenges deaf people go through.”
Frankie will communicate with Ben using sign language — a first for the soap.
Bosses have worked closely with the National Deaf Children’s Society to ensure the storyline is portrayed as accurately as possible.
The idea was pitched by soap writer Charlie Swinbourne, who said: "Being deaf myself I’ve always looked out for Ben Mitchell’s character because he was the one who wore hearing aids.
“I wanted to explore how losing more of his hearing affects Ben, as well as how it makes him see the world — and his deaf identity.”
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