Zahra Quits

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Zahra Quits

Post by Lou on Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:41 am

The Sun wrote:EASTENDERS star Zahra Ahmadi has quit after producers refused to give her meaty storylines.

The beauty, who played Shabnam Masood, told bosses she wanted out after barely featuring in new scripts.

A soap source told us: “Zahra was really disappointed with the way scriptwriters used her character. You hardly ever saw her on screen. If she had been given exciting scenes she would have stayed for a long time.

"Working on EastEnders is a dream come true for any aspiring star. But she began to feel she was wasting her time.”

The decision of Zahra to quit comes a month after the BBC1 soap was blasted by race equality chief Trevor Phillips.

He claimed EastEnders had so few ethnic characters it more accurately reflected the East London of the 1960s.

The Masood’s are the soap’s first Muslim family since the Karims, who moved out of Albert Square in 1990.

In July axed star Angela Wynter, who played Yolande Trueman, accused the soap of “operating a quota system” on the number of ethnic characters after her scenes dwindled ahead of her exit.

EastEnders denied her claim and yesterday execs insisted strong storylines are coming up for the Masoods.

Zahra, 28, is now looking at new roles — but hinted at a return to Albert Square.

She said: “I’ve made the tough decision to leave as I'm still young and I want to try other roles. But I’m really happy the door has been left open for me to return as it has been a great experience.”

That's a shame, I hope it doesnt upset the Masood dynamic too much. It could possibly open the door for Syed to arrive.
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Re: Zahra Quits

Post by HiJo on Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:40 am

I'm not really bothered. If we had to lose one of the Masoods, I'm glad it was this one cos I've always seen her as a bit of a spare part. She was brought in initially to do Denise out of a job in the post office and went from that to being Dawn's mate, but other than that she hasn't had much to do. The potential for a storyline involving a young westernised muslim woman rebelling against traditional parents never really came to anything.

I find Tamwar much more interesting than Shabnam. And I don't want to lose Mas and Zainab but I'm getting bored waiting to find out their dark secrets ie Uncle Imzamam and the mysterious Syed. If the writers don't get this sorted we might lose them too. Crying or Very sad
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Re: Zahra Quits

Post by Lou on Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:01 am

DS's take on it

EastEnders actress Zahra Ahmadi has quit the Walford-based soap after just over a year on screen, amid claims that she was frustrated by a lack of storylines for her character.

The 29-year-old, who plays Shabnam Masood in the BBC show, has taken the decision to leave in order to pursue other projects.

Speaking of her decision to leave, she said: "I've made the tough decision to leave as I'm still young and I want to try other roles. But I'm really happy the door has been left open for me to return as it has been a great experience."

Executive producer Diederick Santer added: "Zahra is a fine actress, even though she's leaving, the door is always open for her to return. The Masood family have been a great addition to Albert Square so there's plenty more to come from them in future."

A source this morning told DS: "Zahra's leaving slightly earlier than expected, but the rest of the Masoods are sticking around and they've got some big stuff coming up in the autumn."

Shabnam turned up in the Square with her screen mother Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia) in July last year, while her father Masood (Nitin Ganatra) and brother Tamwar (Himesh Patel) arrived three months later in the October.
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Re: Zahra Quits

Post by Sally on Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:03 am

I thought Shabnam was going to leave anyway to go on her backpacking travels? Reading the above makes it look like she wasn't going anywhere and the actor had to quit in order for Shabnam to be written out. I suppose they *will* use the backpacking storyline now. Razz
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Re: Zahra Quits

Post by Lou on Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:21 am

The way I saw it, Shabnam was going to have dreams of travelling the world only to put family first and help with the money crisis.

Probably now they'll change Shabnam's personality and make her selfish and not care about her family so go off on her round the world jaunt after all.
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