WHO was Ben Mitchell’s lover who tragically passed away?

Ben Mitchell might have returned to the Square as a badass, but there will always be a part of him that will be forever vulnerable following the death of his lover, Paul Coker.

The Walford bad boy’s grief has been briefly touched upon since his return to the BBC One soap as he confided in new lover, Callum Highway, about his loss.

So now might be a good time to remind ourselves all about who Paul was, and how Ben lost him.

Let’s go…

Who was Paul Coker in EastEnders?

Paul Coker was the grandson of the Square’s funeral director Les Coker and his wife, Pam. He was the son of Laurie Coker, who Pam helped die off-screen.

He arrived in Walford back in 2015 when he returned from travelling. He immediately caught Ben’s eye. Which was a bit rubbish for Ben as he was pretending to be straight and was in a relationship with Abi Branning.

It wasn’t long before Ben and Paul’s attraction got the better of them and they started an affair, even getting caught by Ben’s dad, Phil.

Abi soon got wind of Ben’s extra-curricular activities and – following the advice of Babe Carter – told Ben she was pregnant so he wouldn’t leave her.

Unfortunately Abi wasn’t pregnant and the truth soon came out, leaving Ben furious, but free to be with Paul- the love of his life.

How did Paul die in EastEnders?

Sadly, Ben and Paul’s love story was never going to have a happy ending. Just as it looked like the pair would live happily ever after, Paul died in tragic circumstances leaving Ben devastated. And he’s never been quite the same since.

The boys had publicly declared their love for each other – even getting matching finger tattoos – when a night clubbing in Soho ended in tragedy.

Ben and Paul were attacked by a group of homophobic men and Paul was so baldy beaten that he died.

Ian Beale – Ben’s half-brother – was the first to hear about the attack and wrongly thought it was Ben who’s been killed.

But when he went to identify the body, it turned out to be Paul. Phil was left to break the news to Ben, who was completely destroyed by Paul’s death.

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