EastEnders’ Rakhee Thakrar: ‘Shabnam finds it impossible to resist the chemical reaction’

EastEnders’ Rakhee Thakrar tells Soaplife how an emotional and ashamed Shabnam reveals her big secret to Stacey – then later kisses Kush!

What are Shabnam’s feelings for Kush (Davood Ghadami)?
“She likes him, but sees him as someone who’s flaky and isn’t serious. There is a strong physical chemistry there, though.” 

She’s got other things on her mind, too, hasn’t she?
“Yes. She and Stacey [Lacey Turner] see each other very clearly and she’s the one who has really noticed that Shabnam’s falling apart. Shabnam’s hanging by a thread and draws it out of her.”

How hard has it been for Shabnam to carry this secret?
“It was hard at first, but it has been many years now, so she’s used to carrying it around. It’s something she doesn’t want her family to know and it’s hard to lie to them.” 

What would happen if it did come out?
“Shabnam would hate to lose control of the secret and it would have a huge impact on her family. They would feel as if they’d been living with a stranger.”

And Kush?
“This is Shabnam’s biggest fear. She thinks he’d walk away.” 

Are Kush and Shabnam well suited as a couple?
“On paper they aren’t, but they spark each other off and make the other feel more alive. There’s a real chemical reaction between them, which is eventually impossible for Shabnam to resist.” 

EastEnders, BBC1. Click here for dates and times.