Doctors battled to save the 17 year-old’s life but his injuries were too severe and he flatlined in theatre. The raw, emotional reaction to Shakil’s death from Carmel and eldest son Kush added another layer of tragedy to the harrowing storyline, which ex-EastEnders star Brooke Kinsella MBE has advised on.
Kinsella and her family founded the Ben Kinsella Trust, a charity which campaigns against knife crime and educates young people on the topic, named after her brother who was fatally stabbed in 2008.
The fallout of the tragedy also saw the first on-screen appearance of Shakil’s errant father, and Carmel’s ex-husband, Umar, played by Selva Rasalingam.
Next week Carmel is so gripped by grief she even attempts to take her own life, and lashes out as the community gathers to say goodbye to Shakil in a memorial in the Square gardens.
Mick Carter will also be tormented by guilt concerning his part in the incident, as he rescued Keegan Baker after finding him stabbed in the Vic alleyway but didn’t understand the distressed teen’s attempt to alert him to Shakil being injured and missing.
“Carmel goes through a rollercoaster of emotions,” says Bonnie Langford, who plays the devastated parent. “She is in shock and completely lost. She loved Shaki so much, he was her baby and she feels this huge guilt because she was away at the time of the crime enjoying herself.
“She’s looking for someone to blame, and feels these young people don’t understand the consequences of acting out of anger, or status, pride or greed. She thinks that they have no respect for their own lives or anyone else’s.”
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