There’s a fresh face on the market next week when ladies’ man Kush Kazemi moves into Alfie’s old spot. But his cheeky behaviour looks set to immediately annoy Shabnam (Davood Ghadami).
But will she change her mind about the Walford newcomer after he helps Masood make one of his favourite curries? Here, Walford newcomer Davood Ghadami talks about his debut, which of the women of Albert Square catch Kush’s eye – and how it felt to get stripped off on his market stall…
So, tell us about Kush?
He’s a bit of an Essex boy. He turns up on the Square and is setting up a market stall. He’s in direct competition with a few others on the market. That’s not a bad thing though – there are some interesting relationships there and he manages to ruffle a few feathers very early on. He is genuinely a nice guy though and he wants to get on with people.
What’s his relationship with Masoods like – we hear it’s fiery between him and Shabnam?
Some of the first people Kush meets are the Masood family who are brilliant and great to work with. Again, he ruffles a few feathers there early on, but being the type of person he is, he wants to get on with everyone. His personality isn’t completely compatible with Shabnam’s and early on that comes through. He doesn’t see it as a bad thing though and kind of enjoys it. He likes to speak his mind, which isn’t always appreciated!
Is Kush a bit of a flirt?
I think he fancies Shabnam – he probably fancies a lot of the ladies, to be honest. Some characters enjoy it, but some don’t enjoy it so much and I think Shabnam is one of those.
And he already knows Sonia – is that right?
Yes, he knows Sonia through Martin. It’s a nice way of making a connection to existing characters in the show. It’s a while before we find out too much about his past though – he’s busy making new friends and building new relationships.
Kush sets up in opposition to Kat on the market – so what’s it been like working with Jessie Wallace?
It’s great to work with Jessie. She’s one of those people that you really want to meet, and she’s lovely. We’ve done a few scenes together and her character is going through a difficult time so it’s interesting coming in and seeing how she works. The characters do clash as they’re working the same business on the same small part of the street, so it does cause a few issues. Kush being Kush though doesn’t make it personal and it’s all very friendly.
Can you tell us about filming the pumpkin scene?
That was very surreal, but it works with the character. It’s done for a good reason and it works very well and is very relevant. Everyone was so supportive and it was very relaxed, which is all I could ask for. From reading the scripts to actually doing it, it wasn’t as daunting as it could have been and that’s because of the people who work on the show. Fortunately the weather wasn’t too bad!
Do you have a mentor on the show?
I wasn’t given a specific mentor and was lucky enough to choose one. I chatted to Nitin Ganatra [Masood] as I was doing some of my first scenes with him and went from there. He’s very much looked after me, steered me in the right direction and has shown me around. He’s helped me out, as has everyone who I’ve met. He’s a fantastic guy and I’m very lucky.
One of the first scenes we filmed was Kush’s arrival on the Market and getting his business up and running. It was great because on day one I got to meet the Masoods. It was a fantastic welcome. It took a second for me to take it all in and realise where I was. It was so surreal!
Watch a 60-second preview of next week’s EastEnders below: