The actress is to play Suki Panesar in the BBC One soap.
Suki is the mother of Kheerat, Jags, Vinny and Ash and is set to cause chaos when she joins them in the Square.
“I grew up watching EastEnders so to be joining the show and playing matriarch Suki Panesar is a dream come true – I am still pinching myself! I’m excited to see what’s in store for Suki as she joins her family on the Square.” – Balvinder Sopal
Suki has been billed as someone who loves attention, is fiercely protective of her family and has an ability to draw people in. The character is harbouring a number of secrets from her past and is ‘not one to be reckoned with’.
Her turbulent relationship with daughter Ash has already been hinted on screen as Ash is adamant that she wants nothing to do with her mother – but the question is why?
“It has been clear since their arrival that the Panesar siblings live under the shadow of an overbearing matriarch and in January, Suki Panesar arrives in Walford, determined to make her presence felt.
“Balvinder brings a unique blend of steeliness and charm to the role and I can’t wait to see her grace our screens in January.” – Jon Sen, Executive Producer
The Panesar brothers debuted in the show in October with a grievance against Ben who had stolen Kheerat’s car. It was soon revealed that Iqra’s girlfriend Ash was their estranged sister.
Sopal’s previous credits include Doctors, Waterloo Road and Call the Midwife.