Bonnie Langford set to leave EastEnders as Carmel Kazemi after more than three years

Bonnie’s character has just been involved in a storyline that saw her son become a victim of knife crime

Bonnie Langford is set to leave EastEnders in the autumn.

The actress, who plays Carmel Kazemi, will depart Albert Square as her character struggles to cope with son Shakil’s violent death.

The teenager was stabbed in what Langford said was the toughest storyline of her career.

Bonnie Langford
Bonnie Langford is set to leave EastEnders (Ian West/PA)

Confirming she was leaving, Bonnie said she was honoured to be part of the show.

The 53-year-old said: “I’ve had a wonderful three-and-a-half years at EastEnders and it’s been a privilege to be part of such an iconic show.

“My storyline has been such an incredible experience and I’m honoured to be part of something so powerful and poignant.

“However, I’ve known since the beginning of this storyline it would always lead to Carmel having to take a break from Walford.”

Following her on-screen son’s death, Bonnie’s character initially refused to attend the funeral during a special episode that aired on July 6.

Bonnie Langford
Bonnie Langford’s character in EastEnders lost her son to knife crime (Matt Crossick/PA)

The scenes from the service were interspersed with accounts from the parents of real-life victims of knife crime, who shared their own stories of losing a child.

Bonnie hoped the episode would prompt a discussion about the current rate of knife attacks in the UK.

Bonnie, who joined the soap in May 2015, added: “I’m not leaving just yet, there’s still plenty more to come from Carmel.”

The actress won Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards in 2016 and according to reports her character will not be killed off, leaving the door open for a return.

An EastEnders spokesperson said: “We can confirm Bonnie will be leaving EastEnders later this year. Bonnie has been a fantastic addition to the cast and we wish her all the very best for the future.”


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