EastEnders' Patsy Palmer hopes gang youths 'speak out'

'EastEnders' actress Patsy Palmer hopes youths involved in street gangs will be inspired to "speak out" after seeing the consequences of the show's current gritty plot for Comic Relief

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Patsy Palmer as Bianca Butcher

Patsy Palmer as Bianca Butcher

Patsy Palmer hopes EastEnders' gang storyline will encourage viewers to "speak out".

The actress' on-screen alter ego Bianca Butcher is left worried when her son Liam, played by James Forde, finds himself in serious danger after joining a street gang and she hopes the gritty storyline - which is in conjunction with Comic Relief - will open the eyes of young people in similar situations.

She told Inside Soap magazine: "I think my storylines have been quite hard-hitting right from when I first joined 'EastEnders'.

"If even just one person speaks out following on from this plot with Liam - just one response saying how their child decided to go to a youth club, or that they felt brave enough to talk to the police - then I think it'll be enough to know that we're doing something good here."

As the storyline progresses, Liam is forced to choose between his friends and his gang mates, while the outcome of the circumstances is being kept under wraps.

'EastEnders' executive producer Lorraine Newman previously hailed the dark storyline, saying: "We are delighted to be working with Comic Relief once again. This subject matter is something which is touching the lives of so many young people in London and other cities around the UK.

"We have taken the opportunity to see the impact from a mother's perspective, and Patsy Palmer gives a powerful performance of a mother doing all she can to protect her son. The telling of this story has also given us the chance to explore the reasons behind the attraction of gangs for teenagers."

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