Meet the Ahmeds: Two new arrivals to debut on EastEnders
Masood’s aunt and uncle will move to Albert Square shortly after he makes his return.
Two fresh faces will make their EastEnders debut next year as brand new characters Mariam and Arshad Ahmed move into Albert Square.
The pair, played by The Kumars At No 42 star Indira Joshi and former Casualty actor Madhav Sharma, are aunt and uncle to Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra), who makes his return to the BBC soap later this year.
The Ahmeds will rent number 41 from their nephew as they look to upgrade from their previous London home, and will quickly find themselves embroiled in other people’s drama.
Mariam, described by writers as having a “no nonsense yet gentle attitude”, is soon warmed by Walford’s community spirit.
Joshi said: “I’m over the moon to be joining EastEnders and to be part of the Ahmed family – I’m really looking forward to working with Madhav and Nitin as well as the rest of the cast.”
Sharma, whose character is described as “jovial and mischievous”, added: “It’s really great to be joining EastEnders and I’m excited to be part of the Ahmed family.
“The first continuing drama I starred in was on the BBC so this is like coming home for me. I’m really looking forward to playing Arshad.”
Masood broke viewers’ hearts when he left last year to reunite with former wife Zainab and son Kamil in Pakistan.
The show’s executive consultant John Yorke said: “We’ve always known that Masood came from a big family, and the time has now come to reveal a few more of them, of which Mariam and Arshad are just the first.
“Nitin has been invaluable to the show since he and the Masoods first rolled up in Albert Square. We’re really excited to bring in the next generation of the family for some incredibly challenging, fun and exciting stories ahead.”
Filming has already started on Joshi and Sharma’s new scenes, which will air in the new year.