EastEnders hunk Ben Hardy makes epic TV return in gritty new BBC drama The Girl Before

EASTENDERS hunk Ben Hardy is to make an epic return to TV in gritty new BBC drama The Girl Before.

The 30-year-old actor played Peter Beale in the BBC soap from 2013 to 2015 and after leaving Albert Square, he has gone on to star in a number of Hollywood films.

These include X-Men: Apocalypse, Bohemian Rhapsody and Six Underground, but now it has been confirmed Ben will make an epic return to TV in the new drama.

The Girl Before is a psychological thriller which is based on the global bestselling book of the same name.

The four-part limited series also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, while last week The Sun exclusively revealed fellow ex-EastEnders star Jessica Plummer had also landed a role in the show.

Ben will play Simon, who will do anything to keep his girlfriend Emma despite fears he is not enough for her.

Living in the minimalist haven of One Folgate Street – where the drama is set – heightens his insecurities even more.

The drama is a collaboration with HBO and tells the story of Jane, played by Gugu.

When she moves into One Folgate Street, she has to obey the architect’s [David] very stringent rules but she soon discovers that another girl has lived there and gone through the same experience.

She is “the girl before” and will be played by Jessica, who is best known for her role as Chantelle Atkins in Albert Square.

A TV insider told The Sun: “This is a real gem of a role for Jessica, and it just goes to show the promotional power of a show like I’m A Celebrity.

"She obviously has an acting pedigree after appearing on EastEnders, but going into ‘the castle’ will have helped put her on the radar of so many more casting directors.

“Jessica also has plenty of inspiration when it comes to making the jump from soaps to other dramas, with the likes of Jenna Coleman and Suranne Jones paving the way.”

The Girl Before will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and stream in the US on HBO Max

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