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'Goodness Gracious Me' actress joins 'EastEnders'

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'Goodness Gracious Me' actress joins 'EastEnders'
A new two-member Muslim family, headed by Goodness Gracious Me actress Nina Wadia, will make their debut in EastEnders this summer.

The 38-year-old comedienne will play Zainab Masood, a strong-willed woman in her early 40s who owns a string of post offices including the Walford branch.

An EastEnders source revealed: "Her direct manner can be hugely intimidating and sparks will fly with Denise [Wicks]. Underneath her fierce manner, however, Zainab is great fun and has a wicked sense of humour."

Of her new role, Nina said: "I'm thrilled to join the show and I can't wait for Zainab to come to the Square and cause some trouble."

Arriving at the same time is newcomer Zahra Ahmadi, who will play Zainab's daughter, Shabnam.

The show source added: "Shabnam's definitely going to turn heads. She's 21, fresh from university and has no idea what she wants to do with her life. To keep her going, her mum gives her a job at the Post Office."

Speaking of her signing, Zahra said: "I've watched EastEnders as long as I can remember and I'm really excited to be joining the cast. It was very surreal walking into the Square and seeing all the face I'd grown up watching. I felt like I knew them."

Executive Producer Diederick Santer commented: "I'm enormously excited to welcome Nina Wadia to EastEnders. She's a brilliant comedy actress and I'm sure her character Zainab will showcase all her comic and dramatic talents.

He added: "Newcomer Zahra is a real find. She's warm and great fun. I'm confident that Masood will be a big hit with viewers."

Both actresses begin filming in the next couple of weeks and will be on screen from mid-summer. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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