How John Yorke Sabotaged Kush and Denise (EastEnders)

When it comes to soap characters and couples, it’s all about the television exposure and storylines. In John Yorke’s world on EastEnders, some couples like Mick & Linda, Stacey & Martin, and … Mick & Linda have constant exposure and the best storylines. That means other couples like Denise & Kush get scraps. Prior to Yorke’s arrival, Denise Fox and Kush Kazemi were treated like other couples. They didn’t have as many storyline opportunities. However, as fans we still watched them fight their attraction and eventually get together. So what happened? Yorke arrived, and that was the beginning of his sabotage of Denise & Kush’s relationship.

It’s not a long story, but it’s an obvious one to fans of Denise and Kush. Yorke helped to create the Kazemi Knife Storyline involving Kush’s brother Shakil. We watched as Kush and him mother Carmel Kazemi grieved over his death. Denise was by their side throughout the initial news and the funeral. We also saw Denise with Kush a couple months afterward while he was still grieving. Then… poof!

Overnight, Denise Fox disappeared. In fact, she disappeared after Ian  Beale’s restaurant opening. We watched Kush sleep with a random  brunette.  Meanwhile, Denise just disappeared.


Denise, Kush’s fiancee, was missing from key scenes involving his grief about Shakil. There was no explanation, not even a reference from Kush or Carmel about Denise’s absence. We didn’t hear about Denise for almost a month. That’s why I think this was sabotage by Yorke. It’s obvious that the only characters he cares about are certain female characters (He loves his blondes and a few brunettes!). Since his return to EastEnders, Yorke has spent his time focusing on the Slater Women, Mick & Linda, Mel Owen, and Sharon Mitchell & Keanu Taylor (the teenager helping Sharon get her “Groove Back”).

I understand that actors were leaving to star in Pantos. EastEnders had  normally announced when an actor was going to be away for other work. The show would even release information about the actor filming scenes ahead of time…  But there was no mention of actress Dianne Parish’s absence.


Yet, he has an allergy to…to Black Women. Sigh… He has treated Kim Fox-Hubbard and Denise Fox like they’re not part of the show. Although the actress who plays Kim was scheduled to do Panto, her character’s pregnancy was stretched out longer than soap pregnancies worldwide (American and Spanish). Yet, we got to live through every aspect of Hayley Slater’s pregnancy. When we finally saw the Fox Sisters, I felt as if it was an “Oops, we better include them” moment. So, what happened when Yorke released Denise Fox from the “Ignored Character Dungeon?”

Once Denise Fox returned, then the couple was written as having problems. They were arguing quite often. This was odd considering there wasn’t a backstory as to why they had fallen out. If Yorke was consistent, he might have directed the writers to change Kush’s behavior based on him cheating on Denise. However, Yorke has not been known for consistency during his second stint on EastEnders.

Instead, Kush and Denise’s issues come out of nowhere. We haven’t seen them for weeks. Yet, they’ve been having issues for weeks and not talking. Really? I guess they went through a lot of turmoil offscreen. This is unlike the issues that are represented with the Carters, Slaters, and other White couples onscreen. With those couples, we get the backstory, current story, and spoilers about future storylines.

Now, here we are. Denise and Kush have ended their relationship based on offscreen issues. Yorke even threw in Denise losing her job the day before her 50th birthday

Great way for Yorke to test out the “Strong Black Woman” tag.


All I ask is that Kate Oates continues her inclusion of diverse storytelling for diverse characters. She isn’t one to just have characters of different ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientation as tokens to provide conversation and filler for other characters. That’s not diversity. Executive Producers and writers should develop stories that can be used with characters depending on their personalities. Denise and Kush could’ve dealt with an issue that was given to the Carters or Slaters. John Yorke’s preference and laziness kept that from happening.

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