Ben Mitchell returns after boyfriend Paul Coker dies in shock EastEnders twist
Ben Mitchell was revealed to be alive in EastEnders after his boyfriend Paul Coker died in a shock twist in Monday night's episode.
Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) had been left panicking after discovering it was not Ben but his boyfriend Paul, played by Jonny Labey, in the mortuary and that Ben was still missing.
Fortunately Ben (Harry Reid) was revealed to be alive, although bloodied and bruised, after turning back up at the Mitchell house having been separated from his boyfriend following a homophobic attack.
When it became evident that he was not aware Paul was dead, it was left to Phil to break the news, but his reluctance to acknowledge his son's relationship soon turned the scene into a violent one.
"Your friend, he's dead," Phil said.
"My friend? My friend?" said Ben, as he launched at his father.
Having been pulled off Phil by Ian, he screamed: "Can you hear what he's saying? After everything, everything."
Ben then fell into the arms of his mother and - at the prompting of Ian - his father, sobbing: "I love him, mum, I love him."
In other heartbreaking scenes, Paul's grandparents Pam and Les Coker, played by Lin Blakley and Roger Sloman, remained in denial about his death even after discovering their grandson was not asleep in his bed as they expected.
After the police arrived and asked them to come to the mortuary to identify the body, a desperate Pam left a note for Paul on the kitchen table, asking him to "please be back soon".
At the hospital, she recalled the death of their son Laurie and she begged Les: "Not our little boy, not again."
Sadly, the body they identified was Paul's and the two returned home, where they went into separate rooms and broke down in tears over his death in scenes that viewers on Twitter said they struggled to hold back tears over.