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22 March 2023, 17:41
Nitin Ganatra played postman Masood Ahmed in EastEnders until 2019 when he quit to pursue other roles.
Nitin Ganatra, 55, has revealed how he helps out in his family's newsagents in-between acting jobs following his departure from BBC soap EastEnders.
The actor played Masood Ahmed on the hit soap for 12 years before leaving in 2019 to pursue other roles after admitting he grew "restless" playing the same character.
Now, Nitin is continuing with his acting career as well as returning to "first love" art and, of course, helping out at his family's newsagents in Coventry.
Nitin told The Sun how he often gets customers recognising him while he stacks the shelves, with some even asking for selfies after realising he is an EastEnders star.
He told the publication: “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."
The shop has been in Nitin's family for 45 years and he has been helping out since he was 10-years-old.
"It’s my family's business, so why would I not help out?", he said: "It's normal to me."
Nitin left EastEnders four years ago, putting the decision down to being "restless".
He explained: "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."
He added: “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!”
Most recently, Nitin had a role in Netflix's Wednesday where he played Dr. Anwar.
The actor has also been spending a lot of time with his "first love" – art – which he says he rediscovered in lockdown.
Obviously talented, the actor often shares his painting and drawings on his social media.
When asked about a possible return to Albert Square, Nitin says he'd "never say never to anything", adding: "I never left to never come back. I just needed to move away, play other characters, do other stuff, meet other people, work with other directors and have other experiences."
He continued: “So if the time came where they asked me back, I would have to really think about that.
“And, of course, you want to go back with a good story. So that matters.”