EastEnders will air special Ben Mitchell episode told from his point of view with limited audio and on-screen subtitles – The Sun
EASTENDERS will air a special Ben Mitchell episode seen entirely from his point of view as his hearing continues to deteriorate.
The 30 minute instalment will have limited audio and on-screen subtitles to give viewers an understanding of what Ben is going through.
The troubled character, played by Max Bowden, suffered severe hearing loss following the River Thames boat disaster in February of this year, but is determined to prove to his hard man dad Phil that he this doesn't make him "weak".
Phil enlisted his son for a dodgy job, and as the risky day arrives fans will experience some of the realities of being a deaf person in the UK today.
The audio will be distorted, and subtitles will show words and fractured sentences to reflect Ben's hearing difficulties.
Executive producer Jon Sen said of the episode: "The story of Ben’s struggle with his deafness has given us a gripping insight into his character.
"This special point of view episode is a ground-breaking episode unlike any other attempted in the history of EastEnders.
"Helmed by a compelling performance by Max Bowden, it allows the audience the opportunity to experience the world through Ben’s eyes and ears – a story communicated purely by his dialogue and the snatched words of those around him.
"I am so proud of what the team have achieved and cannot wait for the fans to see it."
EastEnders have been working closely with the National Deaf Children's Society as well as audiologists and experts in order to tell Ben's story as accurately as possible.
Vicki Kirwin, an audiology specialist at the NDCS, was involved with the BBC One soap's efforts, and said: "It was an absolute privilege to work with the team, who were so dedicated to making sure they got this right.
"This ground-breaking episode will give viewers a glimpse into the challenges many deaf people in the UK come up against each and every day, with brilliant technical skill to make viewers feel some sense of what Ben Mitchell is experiencing."
It was previously revealed that EastEnders will introduce their first fully deaf character in relation to Ben's story, with his boyfriend Callum introducing him to Frankie – who will communicate via sign language.
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