Ben Mitchell to leave 'Eastenders' later this year!

Eastenders bad lad Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) is set to depart Walford later this year in a dramatic storyline which follows on from scenes aired earlier this year which saw the teenager killing popular local Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison) and attempting to cover it up with the help of Jay (Jamie Borthwick) and father Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

Pascoe is set to film his final scenes as Ben in the summer and the dramatic exit will air later this year. However, the BBC have insisted that the character was always set to leave at the end of the storyline and that the exit was not influenced by the news that actor Pascoe has been arrested and bailed in relation to an apparent sexual assault.

A show spokesperson told the Daily Star Sunday: ''It will come as no surprise to the viewers of EastEnders that the character of Ben will be departing Walford when the truth finally emerges." Meanwhile, an insider claimed: ''Joshua was always going to leave at the end of his current contract due to his storyline. There was no way Ben could stay on the Square long-term after killing Heather. But how it all comes out is a closely guarded secret."

Pascoe joined the show in late 2010 taking over the role of the troubled teenager from Charlie Jones. Are you sad to hear of Ben's exit? Are you hoping he meets his maker or do you think he should recieve a reprieve for his dastardly act?