Inside the Life of EastEnders Star Balvinder Sopal

EastEnders star Balvinder Sopal has had an exciting journey as Suki Panesar but not much is known about her away from the BBC soap.

"I love where I come from."

Balvinder Sopal has made waves on BBC’s EastEnders but away from the show, not much is known about her.

The actress joined the long-running soap as stern businesswoman turned villain Suki Panesar in 2020.

Suki was ready to cause a stir and was a force to be reckoned with.

At the same time, viewers were also introduced to her family, which included her children Kheerat, Jags, Ash and Vinny, along with her husband, Nishandeep Singh “Nish” Panesar.

Over the past three years, there has been lots of chaos within the Panesar family, including Kheerat being imprisoned.

Suki has also gradually turned into a fan favourite and during the Christmas Day episode, she witnessed Denise hitting Nish over the head with a bottle and Linda stabbing Keanu to death.

Nevertheless, she has become the voice of reason between the six women who have murder on their hands.

However, Suki’s world is completely different to Balvinder.

Let’s delve into her acting career and the glamorous lifestyle she shares on social media.

Balvinder Sopal made her acting debut in 2001 when she played Bhelua in the theatre production, The Beautiful Violin, at Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

She then performed in Absent Friends, Relatively Speaking and The Tales of the Harrow.

That year, she made her on-screen debut in the BBC series Kidhaar!

Balvinder was cast as Fatima in the TV film White Girl before returning to the BBC in 2008.

Balvinder may be known for playing Suki Panesar in EastEnders but she is no stranger to soaps as she has starred in Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Doctors and Hollyoaks.

In EastEnders, it is unclear how old Suki is. But in real life, Balvinder is 45 years old, meaning that she is not much older than her on-screen son Kheerat (Jaz Deol).

Balvinder and Jaz have a 12-year gap between them, which means that they are more like brother and sister instead of mother and son.

When it comes to awards, Balvinder shared Best Soap Couple with Heather Peace at the 2023 Digital Spy Reader Awards.

She also won Best TV Character at the 2022 Asian Media Awards.

Away from EastEnders, Balvinder lives in Medway, Kent.

She often shares glimpses of her daily life on Instagram.

Balvinder previously shared her love for her hometown.

She wrote: “I love where I come from. It’s taken me a while to really appreciate how creatively diverse Medway and surrounding areas in Kent are.

“Sure, some places aren’t as beautiful, affluent, or full of rows of quaint little coffee shops, but it is full of heart, and it’s where I grew up. It’s where I come from.”

The actress also takes time to enjoy glamorous activities.

During the summer holidays, Balvinder was seen enjoying a trip to Turkey.

Inside the Life of EastEnders Star Balvinder Sopal

In the photos, she is holding a drink under the sun while looking worlds away from her Suki role.

In the caption, she penned: “Take me back to Turkish Tea, buzzing bazaars, and the Salty sea.

“To curious stray cats, and bats, and late night chats. To opulent doors, and hammams and crazy boat tours.

“To the Turkish hospitality, so full of love and divine beauty. Take me back to Turkiye.”

Over the years, Balvinder has been passionate about empowering women.

On why International Women’s Day is essential, she said:

“I think we need it because we’re still having conversations where women still don’t feel comfortable in specific spaces or feel that they’re being heard or seen.

“Speaking up and speaking about your own story is very important, and we’re all equal and valued as human beings.”

Inside the Life of EastEnders Star Balvinder Sopal 2

Away from EastEnders, Balvinder works for Kent Refugee Action Network.

She recalled meeting a young refugee who told her that they learnt to speak English by watching British soaps.

Touched by the encounter, Balvinder took to Instagram and revisited the moment, saying:

“She told me she learned to speak English (the way the English do) by listening to us on the telly.

“I was amused, and yet this way of learning language and culture resonated with me.

“Watching Bollywood movies and Indian soaps was also one of the ways I learned to speak Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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