Brooke Kinsella

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Brooke Kinsella
Born (1983-07-19) 19 July 1983 (age 35)
London, England, United Kingdom[citation needed]
ResidenceIslington, London, England
EducationMaria Fidelis RC Convent School
OccupationActress, author, campaigner
Years active1994–present
No Child of Mine
Simon Boardley (m. 2017)
Partner(s)Jamie Brindle (2002–2003)
Ray Panthaki (2005–2010)
RelativesBen Kinsella (half-brother) (deceased)

Brooke Kinsella MBE (born 19 July 1983)[1] is a British actress, author and anti-knife crime campaigner. A graduate of the Anna Scher Theatre School, Kinsella has been acting since childhood. She has had various roles on television and in film. Her most notable role is that of Kelly Taylor, who featured in BBC's long-running soap opera, EastEnders, between 2001 and 2004. She has her own drama school called True Stars Academy.

Kinsella's family made headlines in the British press in 2008 following the murder of her half-brother, Ben, who was stabbed to death in June 2008.[2] After his death, hundreds of people protested along with Kinsella over knife fatalities in London.


Kinsella attended the Maria Fidelis RC Convent School in Camden. Prompted by her mother, who wanted to encourage her to take up a hobby she enjoyed, Kinsella attended the Anna Scher Theatre School at the age of 6, and stayed there until she was 16.[citation needed]

She made her television debut at the age of 7 in the BBC children's series Mud and has appeared in a variety of other TV productions, including Coming Home. As well as appearing in an episode of the BBC series Sunburn in 2000, she has also appeared in the entirely unrelated music video "Sunburn" by British rock band, Muse.

Film credits include the Channel 4 film Kid In The Corner (1999), about a child suffering with ADHD, and the controversial ITV film No Child of Mine (1997). In the latter she played Kerry, a young girl who continuously suffered sexual abuse from her parents, friends and carers, and was forced into prostitution by her father. Kerry finally contacts Childline and is put in a safe house, where she tries to come to terms with what has been done to her. The film was based on a true story, with the names changed to protect the real victim's identity.

In 2002, Kinsella appeared as Liz Chambers in ITV1's cop show The Bill, playing a teenage tearaway. Her character is later the first victim of the original Sun Hill Serial Killer.

Her stage credits include School Play at Soho Theatre (2001) and a rehearsed reading of Skyvers by Barry Reckord at the Royal Court Theatre in 2006.

Before securing the role of Kelly Taylor in EastEnders, Kinsella had auditioned for the parts of Zoe Slater, Janine Butcher and Sonia Jackson, but was unsuccessful. Kinsella completed the first year of a degree in English, Media and Drama at Buckinghamshire New University before joining the cast of EastEnders. She joined the show for a brief stint in 2001, before returning as a full-time cast member from 2002 to 2004. During her time on the soap opera, Brooke's character weathered prostitution, relationship break-ups and confusion over her sexual identity prompted by a lesbian kiss with Michelle Ryan's character, Zoe Slater. The kiss was criticised in the British media as cheap sensationalism and branded as a ratings-stunt.[3] Louise Berridge, the one-time executive producer of EastEnders, made the decision to axe Kinsella's character in 2004 to allow further character development of her on-screen best friend, Zoe Slater; however, Kinsella maintains it was a mutual decision between herself and Berridge. In March 2008, Brooke said in an interview with Woman magazine that she would love to return to EastEnders at some point. In 2018, she helped the writers of EastEnders with a stabbing storyline involving the characters, Shakil Kazemi and Keegan Taylor.

Kinsella and her real-life partner Ray Panthaki (who played Ronny Ferreira in EastEnders) played a heroin-taking couple in director Andrew Jones's film The Feral Generation, which was shot during the period of December 2006 and January 2007 and premiered at the 2007 Portobello Film Festival.[4] Her debut novel, Friendship Is A Funny Thing is awaiting publication. She was made an MBE for her work on knife crime in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2011.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Kinsella's father left the family when she was four years old and she was subsequently raised by her mother Debbie and stepfather George, who Kinsella has described as her "real dad".[6] She lives in Islington, north London and is the oldest of four children; she has two sisters, Jade and Georgia,[citation needed] and a half brother, Ben.

Kinsella married her long term partner Simon Boardley on 28 December 2017.[7]

Murder of brother[edit]

On 29 June 2008 at 02:00 BST, Kinsella's 16-year-old brother, Ben Kinsella was stabbed to death by a gang of three youths in a London street. Ben, the seventeenth teenager killed in London in 2008, died in hospital a few hours later. Kinsella said she was "devastated".

Following his death, Kinsella and her family led hundreds of people in a march to protest against London's knife and gun crime. On 3 July 2008, three people were charged with Ben's murder, for which they were later tried and convicted.[8] The Kinsella family has launched a website and fund in Ben's memory, in a bid to end knife crime.[9] In the run up to the 2010 general election, Kinsella announced her support for the Conservative Party and revealed she would head a panel deciding how grants were distributed to voluntary groups tackling youth crime.[10]

On 23 and 25 February 2011, an anti-knife campaign, funded by the Kinsella trust was run in Birmingham's New Street Station, in conjunction with the British Transport Police and Great Barr School's drama department from its Sixth Form centre. A play was performed to the public throughout each of these days in the station's concourse, to raise awareness of the effects of knife crime.[11]

Kinsella was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the prevention of knife crime.[12]



Year Film Role Notes
2011 London Town Kate
2007 The Feral Generation Nikki
2001 Just Like My Dad Unknown Role
1998 Candy Sandra


Year TV Show Role Notes
2011 Law & Order: UK Tina Episode: Tick Tock
Holby City Emma Kerrigan Episode: Too Much Monkey Business
2009–2011 Loose Women Herself 2 episodes
2010 Missing Leanne Hallam Series 2, Episode 1
2009 The Wright Stuff Herself - Guest Panelist 1 episode
My Brother Ben: Brooke Kinsella's Story Herself - Narrator
2006 Vital Signs Mandy Series 1, Episodes 1, 2 and 5
2005 Jericho Dawn Masters Episode: A Pair of Ragged Claws
Rose and Maloney Lola Shore Series 2, Episode 1
EastEnders Revealed The Growing Pains of Zoe Slater Herself
2001–2004 EastEnders Kelly Taylor Series Regular
2004 Big Brother's Big Mouth Herself - Guest Panelist Series 1, Episode 18
Big Brother's Little Brother Herself Series 4, Episode 10
This Morning Herself 1 episode
2003 EastEnders: Christmas Party Herself
2002 The Bill Liz Chambers Episodes 023 and 024
NCS: Manhunt Pauline Kowatowski Series 1, Episode 1
2001 The Vice Inez Episode: Into the Night
2000 Killers Unknown Role
Sunburn Sally Prince Series 2, Episode 6
1999 Kid in the Corner Lucy Letts unknown episodes
Hope and Glory Marina Series 1, Episodes 1, 3 and 4
1998 Maisie Raine Sarah Episode: Happy Families
Coming Home Jess
1997 Original Sin Daisy Reed 3 episodes : Series 1, Episodes 1, 2 and 3
No Child of Mine Kerry
1996 Jack and Jeremy's Real Lives Unknown Role Episode: Consumer Watchdogs
No Bananas Janet Episodes: Escape, Sitzkreig and Christmas
1994–1995 Mud Ruby Series 1, Episodes 1-6

Series 2 Episode 2


  1. ^ Kinsella, Brooke (23 August 2009). "'The killers' families attacked us and spat and swore at us': Actress Brooke Kinsella recounts in raw detail her brother's murder". Daily Mail. We were finally allowed to bury Ben on July 18, the day before my 25th birthday.
  2. ^ "Kinsella killers jailed for life". BBC News. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  3. ^ "British Soaps Tackle Lesbianism, with Mixed Results". 23 September 2004. Archived from the original on 19 January 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  4. ^ "Drug movie for EastEnders stars". BBC News. 8 September 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Birthday Honours 2011: Profile of Brooke Kinsella". BBC News. 11 June 2011.
  6. ^ Winston, Cathy (27 December 2003). "The screen kiss that left me cold; EastEnders' Kelly has been a prostitute, collapsed from drugs and now she has to snog her best friend". Daily Post. Retrieved 3 December 2007.
  7. ^ Caamano, Andrea (28 December 2017). "EastEnders' Brooke Kinsella marries in magical winter wonderland wedding". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Trio charged with Kinsella murder". BBC News. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Ben Kinsella's family launch website. They have set up a charity called The Ben Kinsella Trust". Reuters. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Ex-EastEnder Brooke Kinsella backs Tories on crime". BBC News. 27 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Play at Birmingham New Street station over knife crime". BBC News. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  12. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 18.

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