We’ve been hearing about Nish ever since the Panesar family arrived in Albert Square.
Tonight, EastEnders fans will get their first glimpse of Suki’s (Balvinder Sopal) estranged killer husband – as he emerges from a two decade-long prison stint for murder.
First, he’ll be seen in prison after summoning suspicious son Vinny (Shiv Jalota) for an unexpected visit – but is Nish’s warm greeting just a plot to win his family back?
An EastEnders spokesperson tells us: ‘On the surface, Nish is charming and charismatic, but we will soon see that underneath is ice-cold, manipulative, and driven by a need for power and respect.’
Amid the shake-up, many will be wondering about the actor who plays Nish… so, just who is he?
Who plays Nish Panesar in EastEnders?
Nish Panesar is played by actor Navin Chowdhry.
The 51-year-old was born in Bristol in 1971 – and has been acting professionally since he was 15.
In addition to acting, IMDB says Navin graduated from Imperial College London in 1994 with a degree in biochemistry.
As for his family life, on Instagram Navin shared that he’d celebrated his 11th anniversary with his wife in July 2022 – and posted that his children had turned 10 and 7 this April.
In his Instagram bio, he jokes that he is ‘My Kids’ Third Favourite Actor’.
Navin is also related to comedian Paul Chowdhry, writing beside a flashback snap of the pair as kids: ‘Me on the left, li’l brother @paulchowdhry ♥️ in the middle, but who in the Mind of God is the photo bomb top right??!! 🙏🏾🙏🏾 No filter Just a photo taken in the 80’s. Yes the 80’s…’
Of his new role, Navin confessed he’d ‘never worked on a show like EastEnders’ before.
He said: ‘It’s been a new experience for me, but I loved the storylines and I’ve got a keen interest in this family because there’s so much happening at all times!
‘Nish is an interesting character – slightly unconventional, and with that brings drama, and mayhem. I think there’s a good man under there but turmoil follows these guys [the Panesars] around so I’m excited to join in and set off a few more explosions and fireworks.’
Where have you seen Navin Chowdhry before?
Fans might recognise Navin from a range of TV and film projects.
His debut was the 1988 film Madame Sousatzka, starring Shirley MacLaine and Peggy Ashcroft, as lead character Manek. Navin appeared next in 1990 Richard Harris movie King of the Wind.
Fans of 2001 comedy-drama series Teachers might remember Navin from his role as Kurt McKenna, which preceded roles in Doctor Who (2005) and BBC3’s Sinchronicity (2006).
In 2012, Navin played DC Asap Qureshi in Sky One police drama A Touch of Cloth, and in 2015 played Anwar in Doctor Foster: A Woman Scorned on BBC One.
More recently, Navin played Tony in 2017 series The End of the F***ing World on Channel 4 – and appeared in blockbuster Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi as a cargo pilot.
In 2018, he was in Our Girl, starring Michelle Keegan, as Inspector Chowdhrey – and was last seen as Deven in the 2021 Apple TV Plus show Trying, starring Rafe Spall.
Navin has also appeared in plays, written short films, and had a play he’d written performed at the Bristol Old Vic.
EastEnders airs tonight on BBC One at 7.30pm.
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