| Rakhee Thakrar|
| 29 February 1984 (age 31) (1984-02-29) Leicester, Leicestershire, England|
Rakhee Thakrar Wikipedia
Rakhee Thakrar (born 29 February 1984) is an English actress from Leicester, Leicestershire, best known for playing the character of Shabnam Masood in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. She also plays the Eighth Doctor's companion, Bliss, in Big Finish's Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas.
Thakrar grew up in the city of Leicester, England, where she attended Taylor Primary School then Soar Valley College. As a teenager Thakrar became involved with Leicester theatre company, Hathi Productions, which was run by her drama teacher at Soar Valley College.
In 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.
In 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 appeared on screen in the show for the first time 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 (Davood Ghadami).