EastEnders bosses announced last month they were planning a serious knife crime plot with the help of actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben died from a brutal attack 10 years ago.

Through the help of set pictures and other spoilers, it was then pieced together that the characters involved were none other than Shakil (played by Shaheen Jafargholi) and Keegan Baker (Zack Morris).

The teenagers have been best friends ever since Shakil was introduced on the BBC soap.

Yet in upcoming episodes both the Taylor and the Kazemi families are headed for unimaginable grief with the loss of the youngster.

Shakil and Keegan will come up against a London gang that ends in tragedy, as Shakil ends up being stabbed.

But what if producers plan to take another secret route with the sensitive storyline, one not often portrayed on television?

Could Shakil actually survive the attack but be permanently disfigured instead?

In a new poll conducted by Express.co.uk. a huge percentage of viewers revealed they didn’t want Shakil to leave the soap.

Giving their thoughts on the character’s impending exit, 24 per cent of voters insisted he was one of their favourites in Walford.

At the same time, 36 per cent of of fans claimed they were really not looking forward to the storyline.

EastEnders Shakil Kazemi death Shaheen Keegan Baker

EastEnders: Shakil Kazemi could survive on the BBC soap with one twist

EastEnders Shakil Kazemi death Shaheen Keegan Baker

EastEnders: Shakil is a beloved member of Walford

It’s been a bit strange because it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced in my life

Shaheen Jafargholi

With a total of 60 percent of viewers not wanting Shakil to be killed off, bosses could have already pulled a sly trick and kept an ace up their sleeve for when the episodes air.

Would the knife crime attack still have the same impact if Shakil survives?

Executive producer John Yorke shared his thoughts on the importance of the storyline along with the announcement earlier this year.

“The episodes are powerful, heartbreaking and dramatic,” he said. “We hope they will help both carry on Brooke’s inspiring message, while making it clear knife crime destroy she lives of everyone it touches.”

Actor Shaheen has also spoken out about the plot, and dropped a number of hints for what comes next.

EastEnders Shakil Kazemi death Shaheen Keegan Baker

EastEnders: Shakil Kazemi might have a twist in store before he leaves the soap

He told OK! Online: “It’s been a bit strange because it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced in my life.

“The most important part for me when it came to tackling how I was going to do it was making sure it was done as realistically as possible.”

“As an actor, I was excited when John Yorke first told me the idea of what was going to happen,” Shaheen continued. “It’s such an important storyline.

“It’s hopefully going to help so many people and bring light to the situation. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, especially at this moment in time. I’m so grateful and humbled.

“Sadly, a lot of stabbings are fatal. Then there’s a whole family and world of people who are left with the consequences and have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.”

Pictures of the aftermath show Keegan spattered in blood and looking completely distraught next to Shakil’s mother Carmel Kazemi (Bonnie Langford), so it makes sense the unthinkable has happened, but will there be a twist after all?

EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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