Zainab EastEndersEastEnders star Nina Wadia has quit the BBC One soap.

The actress and comedienne is leaving her role as Zainab Masood after five years and will film her final scenes over the next few weeks. Since arriving in the soap, tough-talking matriarch Zainab has been at the centre of some of the show’s biggest storylines, including coming to terms with son Syed’s sexuality and her horrific abuse at the hands of her first husband Yusef (Ace Bhatti), whom she remarried following a split from Masood.

“Playing Zainab has been a gift and a privilege. I’ll always be hugely proud of the ­talented friends I’ve worked with and I’m so grateful for the special bond with our audience who watch, care and talk to us every day. We’re a family of ­millions.

 

“Letting go of something you love is never easy but the time has come to move on and every ending brings a new beginning. Here’s to future loves.” – Wadia

Zainab was the first member of the Masood family to arrive in Walford in 2007 alongside daughter Shabnam (Zahra Ahmadi), husband and father of the clan Masood (Nitin Ganatra) and son Tamwar (Himesh Patel) closely followed the pair.

They were later joined by estranged son Syed (Marc Elliott), who left the soap earlier this year, and more recently by Masood’s brother AJ (Phaldut Sharma).

According to the Daily Star Sunday, the remaining members of the family  – Masood, AJ and Tamwar –  will all be staying with the soap.

“For the past five years Nina has brought to life the ­wonderful Zainab – the formidable, ­fun- loving, opinionated, fiercely competitive matriarch. Nina’s range as an actor is quite exceptional, from her comedic double acts right through to her ability to pull on our heart strings with incredibly moving drama.

 

“We are very sad to be losing Nina and wish her well in ventures new. She will be missed by the production as much as the audience.” – Executive Producer, Lorraine Newman

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