"it’s my family's business, so why would I not help out?"
Nitin Ganatra has revealed that he works at his family’s newsagents in between acting jobs.
The actor became known for his role on Eastenders as postman Masood Ahmed and since leaving the soap in 2019, he has been helping out at his family’s business.
Nitin admitted that customers are often stunned when they see him stacking shelves at the Coventry store.
He told The Sun: “People do double-takes when I’m there helping my brother with the papers at 4:30 in the morning and especially working in the shop. It’s a bit bizarre.
“But it’s my family’s business, so why would I not help out? It’s normal to me.
“If you’re visiting your family, you can’t just expect to be served, you have to join in.”
Nitin has been working at the family newsagents since he was 10 years old but usually behind the scenes.
He said: “I was always terrified of getting stuff wrong on the tills.
“My mum, dad, brother and sister-in-law were of a generation where they can do mental maths really quickly.
“They don’t need the till. They could get five items and just say, ‘Here’s your change,’ and add it all up in their head.
“But I was always scared. I was like, ‘No, I need a calculator and I need time.’ So I did the heavy lifting.
“I would go to the Cash and Carry, move the sacks of potatoes, and do the paper rounds.”
Nitin revealed that customers ask him for pictures when they realise who he is. But he insisted that his family are more famous in Coventry than him.
He continued: “I’ve had grown men coming up to me saying ‘I was a paperboy for your dad,’ and even in the hospital, I get people coming up to me saying, ‘Are you Charlie’s brother?’
“An old Irish fella just came in the shop and said, ‘I came into the shop in 1977, and your mum has the best smile. She always made me laugh’.”
Nitin left Eastenders having got “restless” in the same job for a long time.
“I did a long time on it, and I didn’t become an actor to play one character.”
“I love playing different characters and doing lots of different types of things, play other characters, do other accents, change my look.
“When you’re stuck on a show, you maintain that look for a long time and I was fed up with a goatee beard and I wanted to grow my hair… I grew a beard instead!”
But Nitin Ganatra has not left the screen permanently.
He was last seen as Dr Anwar in the Netflix hit series Wednesday.
Nitin also has lots of upcoming projects, including the fourth series of Sky comedy Breeders, with Martin Freeman, and a Paramount Plus prequel to 2000 film Sexy Beast.