Matt Lucas has poked fun at "EastEnders" after Ben Mitchell was recast for a sixth time.
The 44-year-old actor has joked he is "next week's Ben Mitchell" after it was announced today (21.01.19) that Max Bowden has joined the BBC One soap as the latest actor to play the character, who was last portrayed by Harry Reid.
He wrote on Twitter: "Thrilled to announce I'm next week's Ben Mitchell (sic)"
The former "Doctor Who" star's quip comes after Max admitted he is delighted to have landed the role.
He said: "I'm so excited to be joining the cast of "EastEnders" and taking on the role of Ben Mitchell.
"I've always been a fan of the show so to be joining one of the most iconic families in soap is beyond exciting. I can't wait to get started and see what's in store for Ben."
Ben will return to Albert Square alongside Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) and their daughter Lexi Mitchell - and "EastEnders" boss Kate Oates is keen to explore Ben's "complex psychology" further.
She said: "A character like Ben, with his rich history, "complicated" family and complex psychology, is pure gold.
"With Max in the role, we will be exploring the aspects of Ben's character that have been allowed to develop during his time away from the Square: unfettered by old loyalties, and out of the long shadow of his father, Phil."
Before Harry took on the role of Ben, the character was played by Joshua Pascoe from 2010 to 2012 after he replaced Charlie Jones, who starred as Phil Mitchell's (Steve McFadden) son from 2006 to 2010.
Matthew Silver first starred as the character when he was just a baby from 1996 to 1998, and Morgan Whittle had the part from 1999 to 2001.