EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami has said he hopes the soap’s current knife crime storyline will make people think twice before picking up a weapon.
Ghadami plays stabbing victim Shakil’s brother, and Friday’s episode will feature clips about real-life victims.
“Hopefully it can help start something or even the smallest most minute thing.
“Someone could think twice about picking up a knife before leaving their house, and even if they do that we have done something,” the actor said.
Friday’s programme will revolve around Shakil’s funeral, but the show’s drama will be interspersed with true-life accounts from people who have lost family members to knife crime.
There were 70 murders in the capital between January and June, according to Metropolitan Police data.
“We get hit with a lot of statistics about it, we know it’s in the news and not everybody wants to watch the news,” Ghadami, who plays Kush Kazemi, told the Press Association.
“Everybody is quite happy to be ignorant of certain things but generally people know what is going on, especially in London and other cities and towns where it’s happening far, far too much.
“Everyone acknowledges there is a problem but when you get whole family that can sit down and watch something, maybe it can make them discuss the problems they have seen.”
Bonnie Langford, who plays Shakil and Kush’s mother Carmel, also said she hopes the show will prompt people to think about the problem.
‘We’re asking people to feel’
“The last thing we want is to tell people what to do – this is not preaching, this is not some kind of a campaign to change the world,” she said.
“It’s saying, this is the world, how can we do something about it? And the only way you can do it is by asking people to think and listen and feel, and the feeling is what will make people do something and maybe change.”
Langford also said she was helped to prepare for her scenes by former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben was stabbed to death in 2008. She has been advising the soap on the current plot.
Langford said: “To have that much sadly personal knowledge but also what she’s been doing since, all the campaigning and all the wonderful work and everything, it was invaluable having her support.”
Meanwhile, Wireless Festival, which takes place in London this weekend, has announced it will hold a minute’s silence in honour of those who have lost their lives to street violence this year.