Sex education star Rakhee Thakrar had to work in clothing stores after leaving EastEnders

Rakhee Thakrar appeared on the BBC’s EastEnders between 2014 and 2016 – with the actor most recently starring in Netflix’s Sex Education.

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Easter: Rakhee Thakrar playing Shabnam in 2016

Sex education star Rakhee Thakr has revealed that she worked in retail for two years following her sudden departure from EastEnders in 2016.

The 37-year-old played the role of Shabnam Masoud in the BBC series for two years, taking the role in 2014 from fellow actress Zahra Ahmadi, who previously played the character.

During her time on the show, the character was involved in several storylines, some of which centered around her relationship with her husband, Kush Kazemi (Daoud Ghadami).

This included Shabnam’s stillbirth, as the actor helped raise awareness of stillbirth disease in story time on the BBC soap.

Rakhee Thakr made his debut on EastEnders in 2014


BBC / Nikki Johnston)

Her character Shabnam married Kush – played by Daoud Ghadami


Palestinian Authority)

Shabham left Walford in 2016 after finding out that Koch had secretly fathered a child with Stacey Branning (Lacey Turner) — with the character not returning since.

And five years after her passing, Rakhi revealed in a new interview with Radio Times that she worked in retail for a short time after quitting soap.

She said, “I didn’t think ‘other projects’ meant working in a clothing store for two years. I quit EastEnders and didn’t get any work. I couldn’t stand not to do anything, so I worked in a couple of shops.”

Rakhee Thakrar played the character on EastEnders from 2014 to 2016



She added, “Leaving a full-time salary was a huge risk [on EastEnders] And it took some time for that risk to pay off.”

Rakhee has since appeared as English teacher Emily Sands on Netflix’s Sex Education. The series follows the lives of students, staff, and parents at a fictional high school.

Her character was initially a recurring role in the first and second seasons which aired in 2019 and 2020 respectively. It was reported that she became a main cast member in the third season last year.

Raki, pictured with former co-star Lacey Turner, has been involved in other projects since leaving soap in 2016


BBC/Jack Barnes)

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The actor’s other credits include a recurring role in Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral miniseries – based on the movie of the same name. She was also in The Girl Before on BBC.

She is set to appear in the upcoming musical fantasy film Wonka – which is said to be a prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written by Roald Dahl.

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