Bonnie Langford's 'broken' EastEnders inspiration
20 September 2018 - 11:00 AM

Bonnie Langford's 'broken' EastEnders inspiration

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onnie Langford took inspiration from the "broken" parents of knife crime victims during her hard-hitting "EastEnders" scenes.

The 54-year-old actress" alter-ego Carmel Kazemi was left devastated following the loss of her son Shakil Kazemi (Shaheen Jafargholi) when he was tragically stabbed to death by a gang, and the former "Doctor Who" star worked hard on portraying a "mother's grief" accurately to do the plot justice.

Bonnie - who has quit the show - said: "When we see something awful happening, when you see a press call or people outside a court saying "I want justice. I want this never to happen to anybody else. This needs to stop."

"With something like a soap, you're able to go behind closed doors and see how it actually affects people. For me, it was Carmel's grief, it was a mother's grief. And that these people are broken."

Shakil's funeral episode saw a soap first when parents of real-life victims appeared throughout the ep to tell their stories, and Bonnie found it "very emotional" shooting the scenes.

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She said: "That day that we were filming this was just the most extraordinary day. It was very calm. It was very peaceful, but very, very emotional.

"I went over to the one of the ladies who was breaking down. I just wondered if this was too much, actually. I went over and I gave her a hug, and I said, "Are you okay?". She was bursting into tears. She said, "It's so funny. I didn't cry for my own son's funeral, yet I'm crying now".

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"It was almost as if she'd been given permission ... It was almost as if everybody there understood that they had that common, awful bond."

Bonnie has confirmed she has finishing filming on "EastEnders" ahead of her exit, and hasn't ruled out a potential return to the soap.

When asked on "The One Show" if she will return to the soap, she added: "I can't say."

Bonnie announced in July that she was leaving the soap after a three-and-a-half year stint.

She said at the time: "I've had a wonderful three-and-a-half years at "EastEnders" and it's been a privilege to be part of such an iconic show.

"My storyline has been such an incredible experience and I'm honoured to be part of something so powerful and poignant.

"However, I've known since the beginning of this storyline it would always lead to Carmel having to take a break from Walford."

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