When was Nadia Sawalha in EastEnders and who did she play?

15 March 2022, 08:04

Nadia Sawalha appeared in EastEnders
Nadia Sawalha appeared in EastEnders. Picture: Alamy/ITV

What happened to Annie Palmer in EastEnders and why did Nadia Sawalha quit?

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We all know Nadia Sawalha as one of the original Loose Women panelists after she joined the show in 1999.

But EastEnders viewers might also know her for starring in the soap over 20 years ago.

So who did Nadia play and why did she leave? Here’s what we know…

Nadia Sawalha played Annie Palmer in EastEnders
Nadia Sawalha played Annie Palmer in EastEnders. Picture: Alamy

Who did Nadia Sawalha play in EastEnders?

Nadia, 57, played the role of Annie Palmer from 1997 to 1999 and was part of some huge storylines.

Annie and her father George (Paul Moriarty) ran illegal schemes and opened a print shop called "By The Letter" to cover their dodgy deals.

The character also took over George's nightclub and uses it to facilitate her money-laundering operations and illegal gambling.

Nadia Sawalha quit EastEnders in 1999
Nadia Sawalha quit EastEnders in 1999. Picture: Alamy

After befriending the Mitchells, Annie went on to start a loan-shark business with Phil Mitchell, before she later becomes involved with fellow businessman Steve Owen.

What happened to Annie Palmer in EastEnders?

Annie runs into trouble when she gets involved with a rival business gang and ends up beaten nearly to death.

When she is then rejected by Steve, she sells her health-club shares to Grant instead of him and leaves Walford in June 1999.

Annie went to live with her father in New Zealand, where his business is based.

Why did Nadia Sawalha leave EastEnders?

It’s not clear why Nadia decided to leave EastEnders, but she has recently spoken out about her time on the soap, saying she ‘loved the drama’.

“For me, I like it to be miserable, so I can feel a bit better about my own life,” she told the Mirror.

“I remember once in EastEnders, I had a storyline about the rubbish for about 12 weeks - so it certainly lost its way for that 12 weeks, but that's the way that it goes, because that's like life.

“You get the ordinary and then you get into the super dramatic.”