EastEnders has released brand-new pictures showing the moment that the residents of Albert Square say goodbye to knife-crime victim Shakil Kazemi. The funeral scenes will be shown on BBC1 on Friday 6 July and, in these images, Bex and Keegan (who himself suffered a stab wound in the attack by a local gang) can be seen sharing some words about their friend before the service gets underway.
EastEnders has already announced that it will blend fact with fiction when true-life accounts from those who have lost someone to knife crime will be heard during the funeral. Said executive consultant John Yorke of his decision:
“From the very beginning we were determined to treat the difficult subject of knife crime in a responsible, non-sensationalist way. We started out with detailed research, and the more stories we heard the more we felt other people should hear them too.
“The episode gradually evolved into something unique for EastEnders – real families telling their own devastating stories alongside our own characters.
“We’ve tried to find a way to do justice to an incredibly difficult, tragic and emotive subject, and with huge help from the families of real life victims and the support groups they work with, we hope we’ve come some way to getting that enormity across.”
The BBC1 episode of EastEnders will be accompanied by short films that will be made available online on BBC Three which will delve deeper into the issues associated with the subject of knife crime.
Damian Kavanagh Controller, BBC Three commented: “BBC Three has a strong track record of handling issues relevant to young people in a sensitive way.
“We’re pleased that we’re able to collaborate with EastEnders to produce additional material to support this storyline that will allow both the BBC Three and EastEnders audience gain a deeper engagement with an important subject.”
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.