EastEnders’ knife crime storyline began tonight as Keegan Baker and Shakil Kazemi were stabbed by a local gang, beginning a hard-hitting plot set to devastate Albert Square.
As the locals gathered in the Queen Vic to watch the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup final, best mates Keegan and Shakil realised there were in danger from the gang after Keegan stole a bike from one of their members and they came to the Square looking to settle the score.
Scared Keegan hid in the gents’ when the gang turned up at the pub as Shakil went to return the bike hoping to get his friend off the hook. But when Keegan realised what Shaks had done he went after his friend and saw the gang were still hanging around outside.
Confronted down the alleyway beside the Vic, Keegan was later revealed to have been stabbed in the neck – but as the gang ran off leaving him in the alley, Shakil appeared from out of the shadows and it emerged he too had been stabbed.
EastEnders has worked with the Ben Kinsella Trust, founded by actress and campaigner Brooke Kinsella MBE, who set up the organisation in the wake of her brother Ben’s fatal stabbing in 2008. Brooke, who played Kelly Taylor in the BBC1 soap, said of the storyline: “I commend EastEnders for choosing to portray the realities of this subject. 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.”
The attack is set to dominate EastEnders for the rest of the week, leading to Shakil’s death in Friday’s episode. As the community reels from the tragedy, how will Carmel and the Kazemi family cope with losing Shakil?
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