EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra has revealed that his character Masood Ahmed would fight David Wicks if he tried to come between him and girlfriend Carol Jackson.
“Masood is a family man, but threaten him and he’s up for a fight,” says the 46-year-old actor. “He can handle himself because he grew up on the streets and we’ve seen him have lots of punch-ups in the past. He could go down the road where he says, ‘stay away from my girlfriend and if you don’t there will be trouble’. It would be great to a nice big fight scene as well.”
Viewers will this week see Carol’s former love David (Michael French) return to the Square and attempt to inveigle his way back into her affections. It’s a move that doesn’t exactly go down well with Carol’s current boyfriend Masood.
“David’s a very interesting character because he’s so manipulative,” he says. “The writing’s been great and there’s this line where David says to Masood, ‘of course, you know that she has a habit of falling in love with me’, which then becomes the theme of Masood’s anguish.”
Ganatra’s hope is that David’s provocations lead to Masood ditching his Mr Nice Guy approach and embracing a more brooding side to his personality: “I think he’s earned it. We know he’s a good man, so let’s explore his bad side. I think the audience like him enough and trust him enough to let him go down there and still support him. I think they’ll allow him to make mistakes.”
What doesn’t help the situation is that David soon finds himself bedridden after being set upon by thugs. So with Carol’s attention divided as she becomes David’s carer, things are looking a little emotionally precarious for poor Masood.
“He’s trying to be reasonable but it’s difficult. And Carol doesn’t do much to reassure him – she’s got a hard edge to her. But you want to be reassured when you’re in a situation like that. Masood wants Carol to tell him how gorgeous and better looking he is. But there’s none of that.”
So what is it from Masood’s perspective that makes Carol worth fighting for? “Well, he loves her. Plus she’s got great legs. And she’s a good kisser!”