Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:43 pm
Nitin is set to bow out of the role in the show over the next few weeks
Coventry soap star Nitin Ganatra has opened up - and revealed why he really left EastEnders.
The former Coundon Court School pupil has played the lovable Masood Ahmed for nine years.
But Nitin is set to bow out of the role in the BBC One soap over the next few weeks.
Although news of his departure came as a shock to fans, apparently, it had been on the cards for a while.
"Honestly - I thought about leaving every year," he confessed to Radio Times.
"But then I'd always end up hearing about a new story and deciding to stay."
However, when Himesh Patel - who played his on-screen son Tamwar - left earlier this year, Nitin realised it was time for him to say goodbye to Walford too.
The actor explained: "Certainly Himesh leaving was really emotional for us both because we're very close - we have the same sense of humour.
"Nobody else gets it because it's just the two of us sitting together and making each other laugh.
"And when he went, it did stimulate the idea that it was time for me too.
"But it had been at the back of my mind anyway - I like doing lots of different things and transforming for other roles."
Fans inundated Nitin with messages online after finding out that he was bowing out of EastEnders.
The overwhelming reaction "surprised" the star as he had no idea people rooted so much for Masood.
But will he ever return?
"I'd love to come back," the actor admitted.
"I really love the character and I still think there's something about Masood that we haven't discovered yet.
"He's still got a lot of surprises in him.
"It's just that after nine years, I need to go off and do some movies and stage work again.
"But I've made such good friends here.
"And it would be a privilege to come back."
Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:06 pm