EastEnders has announced an upcoming storyline in which Bobby Beale is to explore Islam.
The teen character – who was responsible for the murder of his sister Lucy Beale – recently returned to Albert Square, having been sent to a youth offenders’ institute.
Soap bosses have said they hope to “demonstrate the positive impact of religion in modern society” with the upcoming storyline, for which they have worked closely with Muslim youth workers, specifically the Muslim Youth Helpline.
The soap’s executive producer Jon Sen said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Muslim Youth Helpline on a storyline which serves to challenge preconceptions and prejudices about the role of faith in young peoples’ lives.
“Bobby Beale’s story will show how a young boy uses religion to help find peace and give his life meaning, structure and purpose.”
Muslim Youth Helpline is a support service which helps young Muslims in the UK with emotional and social issues specific to them.
Their director Zohra Khaku said: “The Muslim Youth Helpline have been providing feedback on Bobby’s storyline with the BBC EastEnders team.
“In a time where young British Muslims see their faith overwhelmingly represented in a negative way, it is heartening to see Islam portrayed as a positive influence in Bobby’s life.”
Bobby’s exit was broadcast in 2016, and since then, the character has been recast, with Clay Milner Russell taking over the role earlier this year.
Clay is the fifth actor to play Bobby Beale, having last been recast during the infamous “who killed Lucy Beale?” storyline.