EastEnders releases images from Shakil's funeral
Walford residents are set for an emotional day as they gather to say a final farewell to Shakil Kazemi.
Shakil, played by actor Shaheen Jafargholi, was stabbed and killed by a gang in an episode of EastEnders in May.
Images released by the BBC soap show Albert Square residents gathering at the funeral, where Bex and Keegan will say some words about their late friend.
During the episode, viewers will hear true life accounts from those who have lost someone to knife crime.
EastEnders executive consultant John Yorke said the need to include the true accounts became apparent when the show’s researchers spoke to the families about the storyline.
“From the very beginning we were determined to treat the difficult subject of knife crime in a responsible, non-sensationalist way,” he said.
“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.”
Additionally, BBC Three will be producing a series of short films that will reveal more about the lives of the families involved in the episode.
Written features about the families will also be created for the digital channel’s social media platforms and website.
This episode airs on Friday July 6.