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'EastEnders' Yusef plot should have positive impact, says Nina Wadia

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Nina Wadia as Zainab Masood

© BBC

EastEnders star Nina Wadia has spoken of how she wants her ongoing domestic violence storyline to have a positive impact.

Viewers have recently seen the actress's character Zainab Masood suffer physical and mental abuse from her partner Yusef Khan (Ace Bhatti), who has spent months trying to gain total control over her life.

Although Zainab has traditionally been portrayed as a strong and feisty woman, she has started to crumble in recent weeks due to Yusef's mistreatment.

Wadia today told BBC News: "I think the idea behind showing a strong woman like Zainab changing like this is to show that it can happen to even the strongest of women. They can change and they can be manipulated - especially if they're isolated from their friends and family. The manipulator can take advantage, so it's to prove that it can even happen to people like her."

"To be honest, if even one woman rings that Action Line at the end of the show and there's some difference made to her life, I'll feel like we've done our job," she continued. "It is a serious issue and I'm glad it's being highlighted.

"I hope that it wakes anyone up - not just women, I know that there are abused men out there as well. So if it gives anyone the strength to leave a relationship like that, we'll have done our job."

Yusef learns that Zainab doesn't have her passport

© BBC

Masood arrives wanting to spend time with Kamil

© BBC



Wadia also discussed the drama ahead in this week's episodes, which see Yusef take Zainab's young son Kamil away from her as he steps up his manipulation.

"Yusef shows very clearly his true colours," she confirmed. "He decides to take Kamil, so he's now messing with her children, which is what's going to wake Zainab up big-time.

"She then realises that she's in trouble, and she goes to the one person she knows will help her regardless of what he says he thinks of her - which is Masood. They will have to work together to ensure that their children are safe."

EastEnders continues tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

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Listen to Nina's full interview here:













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