EASTENDERS’ first mainstream deaf character is joining the cast to help Ben Mitchell come to terms with losing his hearing.
Rose Ayling-Ellis will make her debut as Frankie as Albert Square residents reel from the tragic boat crash, which claimed the life of young Dennis Watts.
Partially deaf Ben Mitchell, played by Max Bowden, was seen looking disorientated following the tragic boat crash[/caption]
During last Friday’s episode partially deaf Ben, played by Max Bowden, was seen looking disorientated after being pulled out of the Thames.
Viewers will soon discover a head injury sustained in the crash triggered his additional loss of hearing.
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.
A soap insider said Ben’s life will be ‘turned upside down’ by losing his hearing further[/caption]
Ben’s boyfriend Callum Highway, played by Tony Clay, puts him in touch with Frankie[/caption]
“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.
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The idea was pitched by soap writer Charlie Swinbourne.
He says: “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.”
Young Dennis Watts tragically lost his life in last Friday’s boat crash[/caption]
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