EastEnders star June Brown dies at the age of 95
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Ben (played by Max Bowden) has been living in fear after Callum (Tony Clay) had been in a homophobic attack and was badly beaten back in December. He has since been suffering from flashbacks and jumping at loud noises whenever they arise, convinced that Callum is in constant danger. Since the attack, Ben has become more guarded with his sexuality and feels that being openly gay is too risky. However, his fears could soon turn into something more devastating for the couple as he could embark on an affair with newcomer Lewis (Aiden O’Callaghan) to try and channel his desire of keeping his sexuality a secret.
During Monday night’s episode, Callum is asked to take part and front an LGBTQ+ campaign for the police force.
Whilst he is excited about the project, Ben is sceptical and doesn’t seem to be too supportive of his other half.
Sitting together at Kathy Beale’s (Gillian Taylforth) pub, The Prince Albert, Ben asked what the campaign would entail.
“I don’t know all the details yet, but bus stops, billboards, all that sort of stuff,” he’s told.
Overhearing their conversation, Kathy asked what they were talking about, to which Callum explained: “Work have asked me about a recruitment campaign aimed at the LGBTQ+ community.”
“They want Cal to be their poster boy,” Ben sarcastically quipped, to which Callum confirmed: “I haven’t said yes yet.”
Praising her son-in-law, Kathy exclaimed: “Well, why wouldn’t you? You would be perfect! Anyone would think you are jealous.”
“Of what?” Ben defensively responded with Kathy explaining: “Callum, getting all the attention, his photos are going to be plastered all over London.”
Newcomer Lewis then inserted himself into the conversation and asked: “What kind of photos are we talking about?”
Seeming jealous of the attention Callum was getting, Ben asked: “Sorry, you are?” before Kathy introduced Lewis as her new bar manager.
Becoming more intrigued about their conversation, Lewis asked more questions that seemed to be flirtatious, which Ben didn’t like and quipped: “This is my husband, Callum.”
Commenting on his protective behaviour, Lewis teased: “I can see who wears the handcuffs in your house.”
As the conversation ends, Callum suggests that they go out for the night to a new bar, but Ben shrugs it off and tells him he isn’t “feeling it”.
Callum walks away to take a phone call, where Lewis swoops in on Ben: “So tell me, tell me why you don’t want your man to be the police pin-up?”
Calmly, Ben replied: “If Callum is fine with it, then I am fine with it.”
“Not how it looked,” Lewis replied as he didn’t believe his comment, to which Ben reiterated: “Well then you need your eyes tested because as I said, If Callum is fine with it, then I am fine with it.”
Could their frosty meeting turn out to be romantic chemistry between the pair?
Later, Ben and Callum are back at home when he gets a phone call from Rainie Highway (Tanya Franks) to say Stuart Highway’s (Ricky Champ) operation had begun.
But Ben couldn’t shake the idea of the campaign and commented: “Who was the Vogue asking for a cover shoot?”
Noticing his tone, Callum asked: “What’s this about? Because every time I mention a night out, you shut that down as well!”
Admitting he was jealous, Ben said: “Maybe I just don’t wanna see other blokes flirting with you. Come off it, we both saw how Lewis was.
“Maybe I am jealous, maybe I am realistic, you can do so much better than me…”
Comforting his husband, Callum said: “Ben, it doesn’t matter how many men slide into my DMs or give me a cheeky wink in a bar.
“There is no one that I would rather share a blow-up mattress within my brother’s front room more than you.”
However, will Ben be able to keep his jealousy under wraps and stop it from ruining their relationship?
If he continues to worry about being openly gay, will he take Lewis’ flirtatious comments too far and embark on a secret affair with him behind Callum’s back?
Could this be a way of Ben taking back control over his sexuality and having a secret to keep?
EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.
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