EastEnders will be breaking from tradition in an upcoming episode as part of its current knife crime storyline. The special episode will centre around the funeral of Shakil Kazemi and will be a first for EastEnders, as during the episode viewers will hear true life accounts from those who have lost someone to knife crime.
On deciding to include a true life element within the episode, John Yorke, Executive Consultant, says: “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.”
In addition to the special episode, BBC Three will delve deeper into the issues associated with the subject of knife crime. They will produce multiple short films to give viewers a further insight into the lives of some of the families involved with the special EastEnders’ episode, and will publish written features that will live on BBC Three’s social platforms and website.
Damian Kavanagh Controller, BBC Three, says: “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.”