Rakhee Thakrar is an English actress. She is known for portraying the role of Shabnam Masood in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and Emily Sands in Netflix series Sex Education. She also plays the Eighth Doctor's companion, Bliss, in Big Finish's Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas.
Early lifeThakrar grew up in the city of Leicester, England, where she attended Soar Valley College. As a teenager, Thakrar became involved with Hathi Productions, a theatre club based in Leicester.
ActingIn 2004, Thakrar landed the role of Roopa Chauhan in the radio drama Silver Street, which was broadcast on the BBC Asian Network. Thakrar played the role from the first episode in 2004, to the last episode in 2010. In 2006, Thakrar made her first TV appearance in BBC drama Banglatown Banquet. Thakrar went on to feature in a number of TV series including Doctors, Holby City, Peep Show and, notably, played a lead character in British-Asian drama Cloud 9.
Thakrar was cast in EastEnders in 2013 and made her first on-screen appearance on 13 January 2014. Her character, Shabnam Masood, had previously been played by Zahra Ahmadi from 2007 to 2008. Thakrar's most famous storyline while portraying Shabnam was when the character gave birth to a stillborn son, with viewers, critics and co-workers praising her performance throughout the storyline. Due to her performance in the storyline, Thakrar has subsequently become an ambassador for the stillbirth charity, Sands. Thakrar left EastEnders in 2015 and was last seen onscreen on 5 February 2016, following Shabnam's failed marriage to Kush Kazemi. In 2019, she began portraying the role of Emily Sands in Netflix series Sex Education.
JournalismIn 2004, Thakrar was one of twenty young people recruited to the Leicester Mercury's Pathfinder scheme. Run in conjunction with Leicester City Council, it enabled a team of young journalists to spend ten months gaining an introduction to print journalism and reporting on their communities. During this time Thakrar wrote articles on subjects such as the influence Bollywood has had on Leicester, as well as the peculiar situation of being born on 29 February.
|2006||Banglatown Banquet||Rozena||Television film|
|2006||Tourettes Haiku||Sunny||Short film|
|2007||Circle||Tina Parekh||Short film|
|2007||Doctors||Safeena Abbasi||Episode: "Losing It All"|
|2009||No Signal!||Various||Episode 7|
|2010||Doctors||Jasmin Sharma||Episode: "Pound of Flesh"|
|2010–2011||Holby City||Sarita Dubashi||3 episodes|
|2011||Page Eight||Muna Hammami||Television film|
|2011||DCI Banks||Lab Assistant||Episode: "Playing with Fire: Part 1"|
|2011||The Jury||Rashid's Sister||1 episode|
|2012||TYU's Company||GGS Voice||Short film|
|2012||Peep Show||Waitress||Episode: "Business Secrets of the Pharaohs"|
|2013||Bollywood Carmen||Tannishta||Television film|
|2013||Cloud 9||Simran||Television film|
|2014||Jazmin||Video game; Voice role|
|2013–2014||Invizimals||Jazmin||TV Series; 13 Episodes|
|2014–2016||EastEnders||Shabnam Masood||Regular role; 167 episodes|
|2016||Juliet Remembered||Deena||Short film|
|2018||Star Cops||Priya Basu||Television Series|
|2018||Love, Sex and side effects||Rosie||Short film|
|2019||Those Four Walls||Neha||Film|
|2019||End-O||Dr. Woman||Short film|
|2019–present||Sex Education||Emily Sands||Regular role; 11 episodes|
|2019||Four Weddings and a Funeral||Fatima||Recurring role; 6 episodes|