Bonnie Langford

Bonnie Langford

Langford during the Doctor Who "Whovent" Convention tour, September 1986
Born Bonita Melody Lysette Langford
(1964-07-22) 22 July 1964
Hampton Court,
Surrey, England
Occupation Actress, dancer, singer
Years active 1970–present
Notable work Doctor Who (1986−87)
Dancing on Ice (2006, 2014)
EastEnders (2015−)
Spouse(s) Paul Grunert (1995– )
Children 1
Website Official website

Bonita Melody Lysette "Bonnie" Langford (born 22 July 1964), is an English actress, dancer and entertainer. She came to prominence as a child star in the early 1970s before subsequently becoming well known for her role as Mel Bush, a companion of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy's Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who in the mid 1980s. She has since appeared on stage in various musicals in the West End and on Broadway, shows such as Peter Pan: The Musical, Cats, The Pirates of Penzance and Chicago, and more recently on TV in series 1 (2006) & series 9 (2014) of the reality competition programme Dancing on Ice. As of 26 May 2015 she has been a regular cast member in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders as Carmel Kazemi. For her role in the show she has received the 2016 British Soap Award for Best Newcomer.

Early life

Bonnie Langford attended the Arts Educational School, St Catherine's School, Twickenham and the Italia Conti Academy stage school. Her first stage appearance was at four months, and her first public appearance was at 15 months when she danced in specially-made ballet shoes.

Public attention

She first came to public attention when, aged six years old, she won the talent show Opportunity Knocks. This led to early fame in the television series Just William (playing Violet Elizabeth Bott), the 1974 Broadway revival of Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury, the 1976 film Bugsy Malone, and the 1977 film Wombling Free. During this time, she was appearing as a regular on a children's prime-time show made by Yorkshire Television called Junior Showtime, along with child stars Lena Zavaroni, Neil Reed and Glynn Poole among others. Langford appeared as Scarlett O'Hara's daughter in the London production of Scarlett (1972).[1]


Doctor Who

Main article: Doctor Who

Between 1986 and 1987, Langford played the role of Mel, companion to both the sixth and seventh Doctors in the classic science fiction series Doctor Who. She returned to the role in 1993 for Dimensions in Time, a special charity Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover episode as part of the BBC's Children in Need. She has continued to reprise the role in several audio dramas alongside the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy Doctors.


Langford was a featured dancer in BBC One's popular light entertainment series The Hot Shoe Show which she co-presented with Wayne Sleep. On 23 October 2005, she performed in Children Will Listen, a 75th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She is also a panto regular; recent credits include Peter in Peter Pan at the Richmond Theatre in Surrey (2008–2009); and Fairy Snow in Cinderella at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford (2013–2014).

Dancing on Ice

Main article: Dancing on Ice

In 2006, Langford was a celebrity contestant in the first series of ITV's Dancing on Ice, partnering professional figure skater Matt Evers. Their routines were characterised by the dramatic lifts and tricks they performed and were amongst the most ambitious in the competitions. Viewers saw her bang her head as she was spun on the ice during rehearsals, illustrating the danger of some of the moves they were attempting. Their appearances were also notable for the differing reception they received from the panel of judges (which consistently voted them highly, awarding them the highest total scores and the only two maximum scores from individual judges) and the voting public (who twice placed them in the bottom two pairs, forcing a "skate off" to remain in the competition). They finished in third place overall.

Langford and Evers appeared again on the programme in the one-off Champion of Champions show which followed series two. They were scored second overall by the judging panel but again the public vote was less favourable and they were amongst the four teams eliminated in the first round of the competition. Langford then toured with Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice: The Tour in 2007.

Langford took part in the Dancing on Ice: The Tour in April and May 2008.[2]

In 2014, Bonnie returned to Dancing on Ice for the ninth and final series (10 Week run), which saw the favourite celebrities from previous series. This time she was partnered with professional ice skater Andrei Lipanov. She was eliminated in Week 5.In February 2014 she was announced as one of eight celebrities that would be appearing in Torvill & Deans Dancing on Ice:The Final Tour between March & April 2014.

Since Dancing on Ice

Langford's appearance on Dancing on Ice sparked a regeneration in her career. She returned to the West End theatre in 2006 playing the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago.

In 2006 and 2007, Langford appeared in the Birmingham and Plymouth tours of Guys and Dolls playing Miss Adelaide Adams, a dance hall hostess.

In July 2007, Langford was a judge on the ITV series Baby Ballroom: The Championship.

In 2009 and 2010, she again appeared in Chicago as Roxie Hart.

Langford played the role of Roz in the first UK tour production of the Broadway musical, 9 to 5, which was launched at the Opera House, Manchester on 12 October 2012.[3]


On 5 April 2015, it was announced that Langford had joined long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders for a guest role, later promoted to a regular role as character Carmel Kazemi, the mother of established character, Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami). Carmel is described as an "overly protective" and "outspoken" mother. Commenting on the casting, Langford said: "I’m so thrilled and delighted to be part of EastEnders. I’m a great fan of the show and think the recent 30th Anniversary was sensational and shows just how good British television can be. To be part of this family is an absolute privilege."[4]

Charity work and personal life

Langford has supported the BBC's Children in Need appeal (1983 and 1987) and Comic Relief appeal (2007). During her 1987 Children in Need appearance, she had her ears pierced for the first time live on air after some of her friends had promised to make a large donation if she did so.

She has also appeared in celebrity versions of game shows to support Childline when she played in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? alongside Anton Du Beke in December 2006, and the CdLs Foundation on both The Weakest Link in January 2007 (which she won) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, this time alongside Jason Gardiner, in January 2008. After a brief hiatus she has returned to screen and stage following her acclaimed performances on celebrity talent show Dancing on Ice. In 2009, Langford moved to the United States, and now divides her time between New York City and Britain.

Langford lives with her husband, fellow actor Paul Grunert, whom she married in Mauritius in 1995, along with their two daughters, the elder of whom is Grunert's child from his previous marriage. The younger daughter, Biana Jay was born in October 2000. [5]

She is the aunt of actresses Summer, Scarlett, Zizi and Saskia (Sasi) Strallen.[6]

Langford, alongside Kerry Ellis, is the patron for Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford.

TV and film appearances


Theatre and tour appearances

Pantomime appearances





  1. Kit Hesketh-Harvey in Country Life, 22 January 2014, page 32
  2. "Dancing on Ice Live Tour - Past Celebrities - Bonnie Langford".
  3. "Cast: Bonnie Langford clocks in for 9 to 5: The Musical". Whatsonstage. (Whatsonstage). 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  4. David Brown. "Former Doctor Who star Bonnie Langford joins EastEnders to play Kush's mum". RadioTimes.
  5. IMDb profile
  6. Bonnie Langford to return to Broadway The Telegraph, 14 June 2009

External links

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