EastEnders star Bonnie Langford will leave the BBC1 soap next week as Carmel Kazemi exits Albert Square. Scenes to be shown on Monday 5 November will see Carmel gifting sentimental items that belonged to her late son Shakil to various residents as she makes preparations to leave Walford behind. One of Carmel’s final on-screen moments will see her step in and pay Hayley’s cab fare when the new mum returns home with her new baby in tow.
Langford, 54, has been a staple part of life on EastEnders since May 2015 and recently won praise for her portrayal of Carmel’s grief in the wake of a knife attack that killed the matriarch’s son Shakil. Since departing the show, Langford has returned to her theatrical roots in order to play Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street in London’s West End.
Speaking recently about her decision to go, Langford admitted that she needed a break from soap’s punishing filming schedule, telling The Stage: “In EastEnders, you don’t know when you are going to be needed, you are on call all the time and don’t know your availability until the Friday before. Silly things, like booking a dentist appointment, become impossible.
“That sounds like a stupid thing to have as an issue, but after a while you don’t know where you are. I started to think I needed to come up for air a little bit. I needed to do other stuff, to get out there and feed that other part of my soul. You have to nurture the whole lot, otherwise you can’t do your job properly.”
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