Jessie Wallace and Davood Ghadami lead the way as the EastEnders cast gather in full to film funeral for murdered Shakil Kazemi

Walford’s residents were out in full to film the scenes on Friday with Jessie Wallace, who plays Kat Slater, and Kush Kazemi actor Davood Ghadami leading the way.

The coffin of Shakil, played by Shaheen Jafargholi, is seen laden with flowers as the hearse arrives for the emotional scenes, with the demurely dressed cast gather outside the church.

This spring, an emotive storyline will send shock-waves across Albert Square as soap bosses promise "powerful, heart breaking and dramatic" scenes.

The Kazemis and Taylors will be at the heart of the drama when Shakil (Shaheen Jafargholi) and Keegan (Zack Morris) are attacked.

The storyline will mark the tenth anniversary of the senseless knife murder of Ben Kinsella, whose sister Brooke was a well-loved member of the cast before he died.

Ben was killed while out celebrating the end of his GCSEs in north London in an unprovoked attack in 2008.

Brooke, 34, who played Kelly Smith in EastEnders from 2001-2004, later launched the Ben Kinsella Trust in his memory to help educate young people away from knife crime.

Talking about the upcoming episodes, Brooke said: “It is now 10 years since we lost Ben to this horrific crime and it is impossible to put into words how Ben’s murder has affected my family.

"The pain of Ben’s loss will never go away. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about him and miss him.

"I commend the EastEnders team for choosing this storyline to portray the realities of knife crime.

"It simply destroys lives forever. We need to do more to help people understand this, especially young people."

She added: "I believe that this storyline will bring home the realities of knife crime to a wider audience and show how it damages the lives of victims, offenders, their families and friends forever.”

In a tweet Brooke added: "I commend everyone over @bbceastenders for tackling this very tough but very real and heart-breaking problem in our society."

The Ben Kinsella Trust has an exibition in Finsbury Library, Islington, to teach youngsters the lasting damage of knife crime. Since 2012 more than 10,000 people have visited.

Brooke's work with the trust led her to be awarded an MBE for services to charity in 2012.

John Yorke, Executive Consultant, said “The brutal reality of knife crime was brought home to everyone at EastEnders with the tragic murder of Ben Kinsella in 2008.

"Ben’s sister Brooke – who has been such an important part of the show – began an inspiring campaign to bring attention to the awful consequences – a campaign that continues to this day.

"EastEnders has a long tradition of tackling serious public issues, and this is one of the most important the show has ever embarked on.

"The episodes are powerful, heartbreaking and dramatic, and we hope will help both carry on Brooke’s inspiring message – while making it clear that knife crime destroys the lives of everyone it touches.”

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