Inside EastEnders’ Kazemi family – BGT fame, Jesus role and rival BBC soap stint

EastEnders fans were left heartbroken when Kush Kazemi was brutally murdered by evil Gray Atkins in a jealous rage last year.

Despite Kush's death airing in 2021, Walford residents have only just learned the true extent of what really happened to the former market stall worker.

Cheeky chappy Kush made his first appearance back in 2014 and was later joined by his mum Carmel and brother Shakil.

They family had their fair share of family drama and of course tragedy.

With a few one-night stands and a secret love child thrown into the mix, the Kazemi clan quickly became one of the most iconic families.

While Carmel, Kush and Shakil were Albert Square residents, they were once joined by Kush and Shakil's father Umar and brother Darius.

The stars who portray the Kazemi family range from musical theatre royalty to a man who played Jesus.

As the Kazemi family are no longer residents of Albert Square, Daily Star have taken a look into the lives of the stars who played the famous family.

Kush Kazemi – Davood Ghadami

Muscly market-trader Kush, played byDavood Ghadami, was brutally killed off the BBC soap in 2021 to viewers' outrage.

His boyish charm made him a firm fan favourite and he even won Best Newcomer at the TV Choice Awards in 2014.

Since his departure from Walford, Davood, 39, announced he would be joining medical drama Holby City as Eli Ebrahimi. He is married to Isobel and they have two daughters, Eva and Grace.

Holby City is due to end soon with producers promising a "spectacular but shocking" final episode. It remains to be seen what the Essex-born actor will do next!

Carmel Kazemi – Bonnie Langford

Kazemi matriarch Carmel was played by veteran stage and screen actress Bonnie Langford.

The 57-year-old actress began her showbiz career at the age of six by winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks which led to a party in 1976's Bugsy Malone.

As part of her prolific telly career, she joined EastEnders from 2015 to 2018, a job she described as an "absolute privilege".

After EastEnders Bonnie returned to the stage to play Dorothy in 42nd Street and most recently was the runner up in The Masked Dancer last yea as Squirrel.

She will also be playing Evangeline Harcourt in an upcoming revival of Anything Goes at London's Barbican.

Shakil Kazemi – Shaheen Jafargholi

Shaheen Jafargholi played Shakil, Kush's brother and youngest son of Carmel.

The actor joined the cast in 2016 but was controversially killed off two years later in a stabbing storyline.

As well as acting, Welsh-born Shaheen is a hugely talented singer and came sixth in Britain's Got Talent.

He is also a successful Michael Jackson tribute and in 2009 performed at the globally televised funeral memorial service for the King of Pop.

Shaheen was so good that the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, reportedly said: “If I were still in the business, I would sign him tomorrow.”

Since 2018, the soap star has played a nurse in Casualty but music is still in his blood.

He told the Sun: "Music has always been at the forefront of my creative existence.

"Since finishing EastEnders, I've been writing and recording my own stuff. I should have music coming out by the end of the year. I'm ready to get back to that."

Darius Kazemi – Ash Rizi

Darius is another one of the Kazemi boys and made a brief appearance in the soap after Shakil's death in 2018.

Actor Ash Rizi hails from County Down in Northern Ireland and has also appeared in Channel 4's Drifters.

He also appeared as Mohan Rai for one episode of Luther in 2015 alongside Idris Elba.

Most recently he starred in a mixed reality immersive experience called Lost Original at Hoxton Docks in East London.

Umar Kazemi – Selva Rasalingam

Umar is the estranged patriarch of the Kazemi clan and was played by Selva Rasalingam.

He threw Carmel out of their house in 2015 so he could move in his girlfriend Ashleen.

Selva, who is half Tamil, has plenty of TV roles under his belt including Dr Who, Luther, Hustle and he even played Jesus in the Gospel of John.

He appeared in EastEnders in 2018 following the death of his on-screen son Shakil and fans can see the 53-year-old north Londoner in The Last Planet and the Good Karma Hospital.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at BBC One at 7.30pm

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