EastEnders to tackle knife crime in hard-hitting new storyline

Keegan Baker and Shakil Kazemi are attacked as the soap explores youth gang culture

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EastEnders has announced details of a new storyline tackling youth gangs and knife crime that will air later this spring.

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Teenagers Keegan Baker (Zack Morris) and Shakil Kazemi (Shaheen Jafargholi) will be involved in a shocking attack. The unfolding plot explores the ramifications of knife crime for the two friends, their families and the community, with the Taylors and Kazemis set to be at the heart of the drama.

The show is working alongside campaigner Brooke Kinsella MBE, founder of the Ben Kinsella Trust which was formed after her brother was fatally stabbed in 2008. As an actress Kinsella has a long association with EastEnders, having played the role of Kelly Taylor between 2001 and 2004.

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“I commend EastEnders for choosing to portray the realities of this subject,” she says. “With knife crime on the increase it is vitally important we help people understand its lasting impact. Carrying a knife won’t protect you, it won’t give you status, it simply destroys lives forever. My family and I set up the Ben Kinsella Trust to help education young people away from knife crime.

“I believe this storyline will show how it damages the lives of victims, offenders, their families and friends forever.”

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The soap’s’ executive consultant John Yorke commented:  “The brutal reality of knife crime was brought home to everyone at EastEnders with the tragic murder of Ben Kinsella. Brooke, who has been such an important part of the show, began an inspiring campaign to bring attention to the awful consequences that continues to this day. However, knife crime is as prevalent now as it was back then.

“EastEnders has a long tradition of tackling serious issues, and this is one of the most important the show has ever embarked on. The episodes are powerful, heartbreaking and dramatic and we hope they will help both carry on Brooke’s inspiring message, while making it clear knife crime destroy she lives of everyone it touches.”

Click the links below to watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders and our exclusive review show A Week in Walford.

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