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Bonnie Langford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonnie Langford
Langford in 1986
Bonita Melody Lysette Langford

(1964-07-22) 22 July 1964 (age 57)
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • singer
Years active1970–present
Paul Grunert
(m. 1995; div. 2015)
Relatives Edit this at Wikidata

Bonita Melody Lysette "Bonnie" Langford (born 22 July 1964) is an English actress, dancer and singer. She came to prominence as a child star in the 1970s, when she had a notable role in the TV series Just William. In the 1980s, she played companion Mel Bush in Doctor Who. She has also been known for appearing in various musicals in the West End and on Broadway, including shows such as Peter Pan, Cats, The Pirates of Penzance and Chicago. From 2015 to 2018, she portrayed the role of Carmel Kazemi on the BBC soap opera EastEnders, for which she received the 2016 British Soap Award for Best Newcomer.

Early career

Bonnie Langford attended the Arts Educational School, St Catherine's School, Twickenham and the Italia Conti Academy stage school. She first came to public attention when, aged six years old, she won the talent show Opportunity Knocks. This led to the role of Scarlett O'Hara's daughter in the London production of Scarlett (1972),[1] and work in the 1974 Broadway revival of Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury, in the 1976 film Bugsy Malone, the 1977 film Wombling Free, and to still greater fame playing Violet Elizabeth Bott in the 1977-78 television series Just William. During this time, she was appearing as a regular on a children's prime-time show made by Yorkshire Television called Junior Showtime, along with child stars Lena Zavaroni, Neil Reid, Perry Cree, and Glynn Poole among others.[1]


Doctor Who

Between 1986 and 1987, Langford played the role of Mel, companion to both the Sixth and Seventh Doctors in the classic science fiction series Doctor Who. She returned to the role in 1993 for Dimensions in Time, a special charity Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover episode as part of the BBC's Children in Need. She has continued to reprise the role in several audio dramas alongside the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy Doctors.[2]


Langford was a featured dancer in BBC One's popular light entertainment series The Hot Shoe Show which she co-presented with Wayne Sleep. On 23 October 2005, she performed in Children Will Listen, a 75th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She is also a panto regular; recent credits include Peter in Peter Pan at the Richmond Theatre in Surrey (2008–2009); and Fairy Snow in Cinderella at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford (2013–2014).[citation needed]

Dancing on Ice

In 2006, Langford was a celebrity contestant in the first series of ITV's Dancing on Ice, partnering professional figure skater Matt Evers. Their routines were characterised by the dramatic lifts and tricks they performed and were amongst the most ambitious in the competitions. Viewers saw her bang her head as she was spun on the ice during rehearsals, illustrating the danger of some of the moves they were attempting. Their appearances were also notable for the differing reception they received from the panel of judges (which consistently voted them highly, awarding them the highest total scores and the only two maximum scores from individual judges) and the voting public (who twice placed them in the bottom two pairs, forcing a "skate off" to remain in the competition). They finished in third place overall.[citation needed]

Langford and Evers appeared again on the programme in the one-off Champion of Champions show which followed series two. They were scored second overall by the judging panel but again the public vote was less favourable and they were amongst the four teams eliminated in the first round of the competition. Langford then toured with Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice: The Tour in 2007.[citation needed]

Langford took part in the Dancing on Ice: The Tour in April and May 2008.[3]

In 2014, Bonnie returned to Dancing on Ice for the ninth and final series (10 Week run), which saw the favourite celebrities from previous series. This time she was partnered with professional ice skater Andrei Lipanov. She was eliminated in Week 5 after losing out to Sam Attwater and his fiancé Vicky Ogden. In February 2014 she was announced as one of eight celebrities that would be appearing in Torvill & Deans Dancing on Ice: The Final Tour between March & April 2014.

Since Dancing on Ice

Langford's appearance on Dancing on Ice sparked a regeneration in her career. She returned to the West End theatre in 2006 playing the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago.

In 2006 and 2007, Langford appeared in the Birmingham and Plymouth tours of Guys and Dolls playing Miss Adelaide Adams, a dance hall hostess.

In July 2007, Langford was a judge on the ITV series Baby Ballroom: The Championship.

In 2009 and 2010, she again appeared in Chicago as Roxie Hart.

Langford played the role of Roz in the first UK tour production of the Broadway musical, 9 to 5, which was launched at the Opera House, Manchester on 12 October 2012.[4]

In 2018 she took over the leading role of Dorothy Brock in the West End revival of 42nd Street, until the show closed on 5 January 2019;[5] a recording from the end of the 2018 run aired as part of PBS's Great Performances’ third annual “Broadway’s Best” lineup in November 2019.[6]

In 2021, Langford appeared on The Masked Dancer, masked as Squirrel. She reached the final and was announced as the runner up on 5 June.


On 5 April 2015, it was announced that Langford had joined long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders for a guest role, later promoted to a regular role as character Carmel Kazemi, the mother of established character, Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami). Carmel is described as an "overly protective" and "outspoken" mother. Commenting on the casting, Langford said: "I’m so thrilled and delighted to be part of EastEnders. I’m a great fan of the show and think the recent 30th Anniversary was sensational and shows just how good British television can be. To be part of this family is an absolute privilege."[7]

Personal life

Langford is the aunt of actresses Summer, Scarlett, Zizi, and Saskia Strallen.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Bugsy Malone Lena Marelli
1977 Wombling Free Felicity Kim Frogmorton


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Junior Showtime Tilly Episode: "Christmas Pantomime: Babes in the Wood"
1977–1978 Just William Violet Elizabeth Bott 17 episodes
1982 The Morecambe & Wise Show Singer Episode #3.1
1983 The Sooty Show Episode: "The Dancer"
1983–1984 The Hot Shoe Show Dancer All 11 episodes
1986–1987 Doctor Who Melanie Bush 20 episodes
1990 The Little and Large Show Various Episode #10.4
1991 Tonight at 8.30 Emily Episode: "Family Album"
1993 Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time Melanie Bush Part One
1999 Goodnight Sweetheart Nancy Potter Episode: "How I Won the War"
2000 Mirrorball Singer
2006 Marple Betty Johnson Episode: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
2008 Hotel Babylon Scarlett Senior Episode #3.4
2013 The Spa Bonnie Langford Episode: "Love Is a Losing Game"
2015–2018 EastEnders Carmel Kazemi 351 episodes
2015, 2016 Children in Need 2 episodes

As Self:

Theatre and tour appearances

Pantomime appearances





  1. ^ a b Kit Hesketh-Harvey in Country Life, 22 January 2014, page 32
  2. ^ "Mel Bush at Big Finish". Starburst. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Dancing on Ice Live Tour - Past Celebrities - Bonnie Langford". Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Cast: Bonnie Langford clocks in for 9 to 5: The Musical". Whatsonstage. (Whatsonstage). 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  5. ^ Wood, Alex; Hewis, Ben (13 July 2018). "Bonnie Langford joins cast of 42nd Street and closing date announced". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  6. ^ "42nd Street: About". Great Performances. PBS. 1 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  7. ^ David Brown. "Former Doctor Who star Bonnie Langford joins EastEnders to play Kush's mum". RadioTimes.
  8. ^ Bonnie Langford to return to Broadway The Telegraph, 14 June 2009

External links

This page was last edited on 21 April 2022, at 00:10
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