The star says it has been “a joy” playing the actor’s on-screen mum

Gillian Taylforth has opened up about Harry Reid’s impending departure from EastEnders as Ben Mitchell, and admits she was “absolutely gutted” when she heard that the actor was being written out.

Show bosses announced the news of Harry’s exit last month. The 25 year old joined the cast of the BBC1 soap in 2014, becoming the fifth actor to take on the role of Phil Mitchell’s eldest son.

Said Gillian, who plays Ben’s mum, Kathy: “I was absolutely gutted. It’s very very sad. I’m not just saying this, but straight away we got on really, really well. He’s a lovely lad and a lovely little actor. Some of the stuff he’s done is brilliant and the stuff he’s going to be doing, coming up, is fantastic. And he’s so passionate about it.

She added: “I’m going to miss him dreadfully, but I’ve got a funny feeling that won’t be the last you see of Harry Reid. You’ll see him again on our screens soon. He’s a good little actor, and it’s been a joy playing his mum.”

Harry isn’t the only cast member who’ll soon be making tracks. Back in September, it was announced that Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald were being written out of EastEnders as sisters Lauren and Abi Branning.