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Brooke Kinsella
Born 17 July 1983 (1983-07-17) (age 26)
Occupation Actress

Brooke Kinsella (born 17 July 1983) is an English actress and author. 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.

Kinsella's family made headlines in the British press in 2008 following the murder of her brother, Ben, who was stabbed to death in June 2008[1]. 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, graduating with three A stars, five As and two Bs in her GCSEs. 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.

She made her television debut at the age of 7 in the BBC children 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 ITV1s 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 reading of Skyvers by Barry Reckord at the Royal Court Theatre in 2006.

Before securing the role of Kelly Smith 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 - 2004. During her time on the hit soap, 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.[2] 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.

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.[3] Her debut novel, Friendship Is A Funny Thing is awaiting publication.

Personal life

Kinsella's father walked out on her 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".[4] She lives in Islington, North London and is the oldest of four children; she has two sisters, Jade and Georgia and had a brother named Ben.

Despite being in a relationship with a man named Jamie Brindle during her first year in EastEnders, Kinsella was regularly photographed by papparazzi on nights out with her castmates, leading the press to speculate at different times that she was dating Joe Swash, James Alexandrou, Christopher Parker, singer Antony Costa and Hollyoaks actors Gary Lucy and Andrew Newton-Lee. Kinsella denied the rumours in various different interviews.[5] Following her split from Brindle (who the Sunday Mirror revealed had been convicted of racial assault) at the end of 2003, she remained single for two years, before it was announced that she was dating Ray Panthaki in 2005, which ended in 2010.[6]

Murder of brother

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. His sister 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 July 3 2008, three people were charged with Ben's murder.[7] The Kinsella family has launched a website and fund in Ben's memory, in a bid to end knife crime.[8]


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