From box office star to Strictly Come Dancing – what became of EastEnders’ Masood family?

With its famous ‘duff duff’ cliff ends, the beloved Queen Vic pub and the iconic Albert Square, EastEnders – whether you like your soaps or not – is a British institution.

Home to many famous families, the show gave Rakhee Thakarar, from Leicester, his big TV break, being part of the popular Masood family.

A family rife with chaos (inevitably as this is EastEnders), the Masoods were at the center of storylines that shocked the nation and made us sob in equal measure – but what happened to the stars of this TV family very appreciated?

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From a Beatles-themed star at the box office, to the glitz and glamor of the Strictly dance floor, here’s what EastEnders’ Masood clan has become.

Nitin Ganatra – Masood Ahmed

Nitin Ganatra’s Masood Ahmed was a much-loved character

Walford mailman, Nitin Ganatra’s Masood Ahmed delivered many storylines as he and his family became a mainstay in the cast of EastEnders.

A much-loved character, Masood was a womanizer as well as a postman, going through a series of love affairs during his time in Albert Square, courting Jane Beale, Carol Jackson, Cathy Beale and Carmel Kazemi to name a few. a few, reports the sun.

Nitin Ganatra in The Worst Witch
Nitin Ganatra in The Worst Witch

After leaving the show for the first time in 2016 – the last original member of the Masood family to do so – Nitin returned a year later with two new parents, his uncle Arshad and his aunt Mariam, but he left permanently in 2019.

Since then, Nitin has starred in the powerful Channel 4 series The State as the father of a boy who joins ISIS, while he also played a teacher in CBBC’s The Worst Witch.

He was named an OBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honors List for his services to the theatre.

Nina Wadia – Zainab Masood

Nina Wadia
Nina Wadia was already famous before playing Zainab

Already famous before joining the cast of EastEnders, Nina Wadia was best known for her groundbreaking work as one of the four leads on the comedy sketch show, Goodness Gracious Me, the first all-Asian sketch show at the television.

While in Albert Square, Nina was at the heart of stories such as Zainab’s divorce from her husband Masood before being reunited with her first husband, the villainous Yusef Khan.

This second marriage turned into a powerful story of domestic violence that ultimately ended with Zainab being drugged by Yusef just as he was about to burn down their house.

Fortunately, Zainab is saved as the flames begin to rage, while Yusuf does not make it out alive.

Nina Wadia and partner Neil Jones emerged first from Strictly last year
Nina Wadia and partner Neil Jones emerged first from Strictly last year

Nina left EastEnders in 2013 and has since appeared in five series of the BBC sitcom Still Open All Hours before appearing in several episodes of Death in Paradise in 2020, as the love interest of her lead actor. era, Ardal O’Hanlon.

More recently, she was seen strutting on Strictly Come Dancing but was the first celebrity to be eliminated last year.

Himesh Patel – Tamwar Massoud

Actor Himesh Patel
Himesh Patel’s Tamwar was geeky and goofy

Hardworking and studious, Tamwar was the geeky son of the Masood clan who did everything to please his pushy parents.

Played by Himesh Patel, Tamwar’s storylines on EastEnders included his growing love and burning desire to perform stand-up comedy – which led him to start the website Rude Masood, where he posed as his neighbors.

Among these was a gold print of June Brown’s legendary Dot Cotton.

Tamwar then suffered a failed marriage to his childhood sweetheart Afia before leaving the place in 2016, traveling with Nancy Carter.

They would then marry and divorce off-screen in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Himesh Patel attends the UK premiere of
Himesh Patel has since acted in films

As for Himesh, 2019 was his big year, taking on the lead role in Danny Boyle’s Beatles-themed film Yesterday.

Playing struggling musician Jack, Himesh has used his true love of music to play guitar on screen in a world where he’s the only person to have heard of the iconic Liverpool band.

Away from music, Himesh had a starring role in the BBC miniseries The Luminaries and appeared in Netflix’s hit film Don’t Look Up, as well as the US series Station Eleven.

Zahra Ahmadi – Shabnam Massoud (the first)

Unsure of life and what she wants to do, Shabnam’s first incarnation was left undefined in many ways and that’s part of why the original actor who played her, Zahra Ahmadi, left. after only a year on the soap opera.

Claiming it was due to a lack of storylines, the character left Walford for Pakistan before returning with his new guise several years later.

Actress Zahra Ahmadi
Zahra then starred in the ITV thriller Marcella

As for Zahra, she had a steady succession of television roles, appearing in an episode of Doctor Who where she was killed by a Cyberman before taking on one of the lead roles in the BBC Two sitcom Count Arthur Strong. .

Also appearing in Black Mirror as well as Marcella, Zahra can currently be seen in series three of ITV’s The Bay.

Rakhee Thakrar – Shabnam Masood (the second)

Actor Rakhee Thakrar as Shabnam Masood in EastEnders
Rakhee played Shabnam Masood for two years

With her new face, Shabnam the Second is more level-headed but eager to settle down, forming a relationship with Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami).

It was this relationship that put Leicester-born Rakhee at the heart of a devastating stillbirth story where she and Kush lost their baby.

To make matters worse, Shabnam then found out about Kush’s affair with her friend Stacey Branning.

Actor Rakhee Thakrar
Rakhee Thakrar went on to star in Netflix’s Sex Education

Since leaving EastEnders after just two years in 2016 – a move the actor called ‘risky’ – Rakhee has gone on to do recurring roles on Netflix’s Sex Education as well as off-screen roles, lending her voice to the character of Bliss for the adventures of the Doctor Who audio series.

On television, she was recently seen in the thrillers The Girl Before and Rules of the Game, while she is also set to appear on the big screen, alongside Timothee Chalamet in Wonka, the musical prequel to the film Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory.

Marc Elliott – Syed Masood

Actor Marc Elliott
Marc Elliott’s Syed hasn’t been in EastEnders since 2012

Zainab’s golden child, Syed couldn’t hurt his mother’s eyes – except come out as gay.

Played by Marc Elliott between 2009 and 2012, Syed had a steady girlfriend in the form of Amria (Priya Kalidas), but then he began an affair with Christian Clarke – a hidden and forbidden relationship that put him at odds with his family and his faith.

He would end up confiding about his sexuality to his mother on the day he was to marry Amira, causing more friction in the family than ever before.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Marc Elliott attends the after party press night for
Marc Elliott now mainly works on stage

He and Christian (John Partridge) both left the Square in 2012, with actor Marc having mostly focused his talents on stage, starring in performances by Tape and Wild Harvest.

On screen, he joined the cast of Holby City in 2016 as Isaac Mayfield, before leaving a year later. He then returned to reprise that role in 2019 before returning to the stage.

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