Meet Nina Wadia: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant and former EastEnders star

Nina was the 11th contestant to be confirmed for the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up.

Strictly star Nina Wadia

It’s shaping up to be another terrific series of Strictly Come Dancing – and one of the names to join the line-up is EastEnders star Nina Wadia who will be performing the Samba to Mi Gente by J Balvin, Willy William ft Beyoncé in week one which we know now that the Strictly Come Dancing songs and dances have been revealed.


The actress, who is also known for her roles on Goodness Gracious Me and Still Open All Hours, confirmed that she was taking part during an appearance on Lorraine on 12th August – becoming the eleventh contestant to be revealed. She is paired with professional dancer, Neil Jones.

She will face competition from the likes of Tilly Ramsay, Dan Walker, Katie McGlynn and the rest of the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up.

But does she have what it takes to go all the way to lift the Glitterball trophy?

Here’s everything you need to know about Nina Wadia.

Who is Nina Wadia?

Age: 52

Job: Actress

Partnered with: Neil Jones

Instagram: @Nina.Wadia

Twitter: @Nina_Wadia

Nina is an actress and sometimes TV presenter, best known for playing  Zainab Masood on EastEnders for six years between 2007 and 2013 – a role which saw her win two British Soap Awards, for Best Onscreen Partnership and Best Comedy.

Her other well-known roles include being part of the main ensemble for the BBC Two sketch show Goodness Gracious Me and starring as Mrs. Hussein in the first four series of Open All Hours spin-off Still Open All Hours.

She’s also appeared in guest roles in a number of British TV staples, including Doctor Who, Death in Paradise and Holby City, in addition to having served as a panellist on Loose Women and as a regular presenter on BBC One’s Sunday Morning Live.

She received an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List for her services to charity and entertainment.

Nina’s Strictly journey?

Nina has said that she’s “scared” about taking part in the series, telling Christine Lampard on Lorraine, “I like dancing like no one’s watching. So we just need to blindfold the judges and I’ll win!” We’ll see if the judges are indeed blindfolded when her journey really begins this weekend.

And asked why she wanted to take part she added, “I just want to grab life by the balls and enjoy it!”


Strictly Come Dancing continues this weekend on BBC One. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide. Visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.