"it was one of my most favourite jobs to have done."
Nina Wadia has revealed whether she is open to returning to EastEnders one day.
The actress gained fame on the BBC soap as the steely matriarch Zainab Masood. She made her first appearance on the show on July 16, 2007.
She remained on the show for the next five and a half years. During that time, she won the hearts of the viewers.
Zainab featured in famous storylines which became ingrained in the show’s history.
Such storylines included Zainab’s struggle to accept the homosexuality of her son Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) and her complicated marriage to Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra).
In 2011, Zainab’s character was explored deeper when she became a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband Dr Yusef Khan (Ace Bhatti).
In 2012, Nina quit her role to explore other projects. Her final appearance on the soap came on February 8, 2013.
Nina Wadia has now hinted that she may reprise her role after a gap of over a decade.
She revealed: “I didn’t suit being in the same character for that long and I was finding myself climbing the walls with just playing Zainab.
“They were kind to me on the show in that they didn’t kill her off and I’m sure at one point I will return.”
Nina Wadia also divulged that despite her absence of over 10 years, she is still missed by viewers:
“What fascinates me is that people still say, ‘When are you going back in?’ I left over a decade ago!’
“Honestly, it was one of my most favourite jobs to have done.
“I met some incredible actors and I’m still friends with a lot of them. I do miss it. I would never say never!
“I’m always there for anyone. Nitin is lovely and of course we would [both go back]. We had a ball when we were on it.
“I went back into comedy after Zainab’s exit, things got quite heavy for her.
“I’ve been away long enough now that if I did go back, I’d bring back the humour and that’s what I’d love to do.”
For her performance as Zainab, Nina won numerous awards.
At the 2009 British Soap Awards, Nina won ‘Best Comedy Performance.’
She was undoubtedly one of the show’s most famous South Asian characters.
Meanwhile, EastEnders is currently at the top of its game. The show won ‘Best British Soap’ at the 2023 British Soap Awards.
It also bagged the gong for ‘Best Serial Drama’ at the 2023 National Television Awards.
The return of Nina Wadia would surely increase its glory.