Legions of EastEnders fans were left utterly devastated tonight as fan favourite couple Ben Mitchell and Callum Highway split up just days before Christmas.

Heartbroken viewers even threatened to boycott the soap until the two men reunited.

It came as an even more agonising blow after Callum confessed that he loved Ben - however the hardened Mitchell refused to say it back to him.

Instead, Ben told him that he wanted to break up with him - leaving Callum visibly devastated.

This comes as Ben agreed to help his dad murder Sharon's secret lover rather than watch Phil turn to the bottle and kill himself.

However Ben has been reluctant to divulge any dark details to Callum, who is dreaming of becoming a police officer, in a desperate bid not to tarnish his reputation.

So Ben decided to sacrifice his own happiness this evening by breaking up with Callum.

Struggling to hold back the tears, Ben told Callum: "You've got a big heart but hey, we're just not suited."

Callum refused to believe him, responding: "You don't mean that."

"I am not going to ruin you and I am not going to watch you get ruined," Ben insisted. "I don't love you! I don't love you and I don't want your love."

"Yes you do, I know that you do," Callum tried to retort.

Ben replied: "That happens in your world but never in mine. Never in mine. You are a good guy Callum but go and find someone else to love. We're done."

*EastEnders returns on Monday at 8pm on BBC One