Ever since EastEnders' Callum Highway's (Tony Clay) beloved husband Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) was jailed for fraud earlier this year, there's been a lack of aftermath in terms of just how Callum has been affected by Ben's extradition to America.


But that's all set to change, as Callum throws himself into a murder case he may regret getting involved in, mainly as a distraction technique for his own heartache.

Of course, we're talking about Keanu Taylor's (Danny Walters) murder, which was carried out by Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) – although evil Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) has been framed for the crime.

Linda and Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) soon find their behaviour scrutinised by Callum. In a new interview, Clay delves into his alter ego's mindset and explains how Callum's coping without Ben, why he takes an interest in what happened to Keanu and how his relationship with father-in-law Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) has mellowed.

Read on below for the full chat ahead of EastEnders' next chapter of Callum's story, as well as what's next for The Six's ongoing cover up.

More like this

It’s safe to say that Callum has had quite a tough start to the year. How is he feeling?

"It’s been a bit of a storm for him. He’s had a lot to take on in a short space of time so I think he feels a little bit lost at the moment. I think the reason he starts snooping around Keanu’s case is so he can throw himself into his work.

"He’s trying to distract himself, and he’s trying to be there, and be present for Lexi and everything that she’s got going on. He knows it’s not easy for her, so he has put his feelings aside to focus on her and make sure she’s OK."

This week, Callum fails to invite Phil to Ben’s prison call, but Sharon persuades him otherwise. Is this a general oversight or do you think Callum fails to connect with his father-in-law on that level?

"I think it is a genuine oversight. The pair of them have had a tumultuous relationship over the years [Ben and Phil] so he wrongly assumes that Phil wouldn’t want to be a part of the call. When Callum realises Phil’s upset he’s more than happy for him to be involved.

"There’s no animosity between the pair, and I think they both feel like they’re in this together, and that the family has to collectively pull together and be there for Lexi despite how they’re all feeling."

Tony Clay as Callum Highway signing love to Max Bowden as Ben Mitchell through a prison cell window in EastEnders.
Tony Clay as Callum Highway signing love to Max Bowden as Ben Mitchell through a prison cell window in EastEnders. BBC

After a conversation in The Vic, Callum starts to grow suspicious of Linda. What is it that Linda says that piques Callum’s suspicions?

"She makes a comment about Dean that Callum thinks is a bit suss. I think Linda’s façade slips in that moment, and as much as Callum would not want to believe that she could be involved, because he loves her dearly and because she’s a big part of his life as are the rest of the Carters, a part of Callum thinks what she says is odd.

"The policeman part of Callum also doesn’t want anything untoward happening. He’s glad to see Dean in prison, but he wants to make sure it’s for the crimes he’s committed."

Callum continues to press his suspicions with Sharon. How does she react and what does that make Callum think?

“Again, he has what he thinks is a very normal conversation with Sharon and she reacts badly and leaves the situation with Albie. This is when he thinks there is more going on than what meets the eye.”

Johnny speaks to a stressed Callum, who holds a bag over his shoulder in EastEnders
Johnny tries to deter Callum from investigating Keanu's murder. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Callum has known Linda for many years, and also became close to Sharon when she was married to Phil. Do you think he truly believes that either of them could be capable of such a crime?

"There is a part of him that does turn a bit of a blind eye to it because he doesn’t want to see anything happen to Sharon and Linda, but equally he is throwing himself into his work and so he’s going on every single lead because he’s trying to keep himself distracted and busy."

Callum decides to look into the case further. Does he think that there is more to this or do you think he’s trying to distract himself with work because of Ben?

"Yeah, absolutely. I think it ordinarily would be out of character for Callum to be hellbent on catching Keanu’s killer given their history. I think he’s just latching on to anything that will keep him focused and pre-occupied so he doesn’t have to think about his true feelings relating to Ben’s absence. It’s definitely a distraction from what’s going on in his personal life."

Does anyone try and deter Callum, and how does he react?

"Johnny and Jack both know about Christmas and what happened with The Six, and they both try in their own ways to deter Callum from going any further in his investigation.

"There’s a really nice scene between Callum and Johnny where Callum opens up and admits that he does miss Ben, and that kind of makes Callum rethink. Jack also puts him on a new case, so Callum has got a new distraction, and he also feels like he’s got his suspicions off his chest for now."

Read more:

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.


Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what else is on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.