Last year Bonnie Langford was awarded best soap newcomer at the British Soap Awards and she recalls why the win was so important to her

Bonnie Langford was awarded best newcomer at the British Soap Awards 2016 for her role as Carmel Kazemi in EastEnders and, with the awards just around the corner, she reveals what it was like to win and what the future holds for Carmel.

The actress said she was only meant to star on the show for four episodes, but two years on she is still loving her job.

She told What’s on TV: “I think it has been an absolute joy for me to be accepted in this arena. And I am just so thrilled and privileged and I have enjoyed every single moment of it and I continue to enjoy it. I am challenged everyday,  but also fulfilled. I am just so grateful that I got this opportunity completely out of the blue.”

Best newcomer is a highly sought after award at the British Soap Awards and Bonnie said she was very surprised to have won. “I was so honoured to receive best newcomer because most people were saying ‘But how can you be newcomer you are so old? And I said no, because it was just such a privilege to feel that I had come into this new world and be accepted.”

She added: “It is something I never thought would happen.”

With the British Soap Awards 2017 just around the corner, Bonnie said she will be rooting for everyone, but especially Zach Morris, who has been nominated for best newcomer this year for his role as Keegan Baker.

Bonnie said he is ‘the sweetest guy’ and hoped he won. Also nominated in this category is Duncan James for Hollyoaks, Sally Dexter for Emmerdale, Ritu Arya for Doctors and Rob Mallard for Coronation Street.

Bonnie’s character Carmel first appeared in Albert Square in 2015. Her character is described as warm and friendly and her family means everything to her. Bonnie said: “Carmel has really changed so much since she came on the square because when she arrived she was a housewife who literally just bought up these lovely three boys who she doted upon and she started a new life… She has entered a new chapter.”

Now Carmel has a new job in planning in the market square, covering a maternity leave.

“She is trying to juggle not only her home life and her kids, but she is trying to juggle two jobs and incorporate everything, you know, Superwoman? Like you do.”

Carmel’s time on the square has not been without its classic rivalries and arguments, but Bonnie hoped her clash with Denise Fox could be settled. She said: “I would love for her relationship with Denise [to be] back on track because I love working with Diane Parish.”

She added: “I think also it is important for women to support one another and particularly women of a certain age and to show that in a storyline is really important. And that you can take knocks and still forgive, I think that is really important.”