Returning to Albert Square after 20 years in prison, EastEnders newcomer Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) is a man with a fearsome reputation for violence who arrives into the middle of a family that has already been fractured by a rift between Suki (Balvinder Sopal) and her children.
Determined to make his mark and reclaim his lost empire, Nish is a man on a mission.
‘He believes he’s owed by the world and by his family for the time he’s done in prison,’ Navin Chowdhry says. ‘Rightly or wrongly, this is his mentality – I’ve done my time because I protected my family, now I want payback.’
Navin says that Nish is a man who has committed acts of violence in the past and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again and risk going back to jail.
‘No one is in danger, unless they cross him,’ he says. ‘Nish says that despite the pain of losing Jags and not being there for 20 years of his children’s lives, he wouldn’t hesitate for a second to do the same thing again. For him to protect his family and his dignity, he would do it again.’
This obviously makes him a very dangerous person, but he makes an outward show of charm, as Navin explains.
‘I think people in Walford will be quite charmed and intrigued by him but they should be intimidated if they cross him. There are people in Walford who have done a lot of crime, but Nish did 20 years for murder, and he wouldn’t hesitate for a second if his family were threatened.’
As much as Nish talks about protecting his family, Navin says that ‘The only person who is allowed to do anything to Suki or the family is Nish, and that’s his hypocrisy’ – which also means Suki, Kheerat (Jaz Singh Deol), Vinny (Shiv Jalota) and Ash (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha) could be at risk if they dare to cross him.
And another person who needs to watch her back is Eve Unwin (Heather Peace), who is in love with Suki.
‘Eve’s playing with fire,’ Navin says, ‘And if Nish finds out what’s going on between her and Suki, it’s not going to be a pretty day in Walford.
‘But Eve is a strong woman, and we’ve got some scenes coming up that develop something very exciting.’
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