EastEnders has been drip-feeding the introduction of new family the Panesars in recent weeks, but the clan really made their mark this week as all three brothers came to Albert Square for the first time and revealed details of their past, including some surprising links to existing locals.
The imminent arrival of the first ever Sikh family on the Square was announced in August, when brothers Kheerat (Jaz Deol), Jags (Amar Adatia) and Vinny (Shiv Jolata) were described as “charming, but a force to be reckoned with.”
Viewers have already met Kheerat and Jags, who clashed with Ben Mitchell and Martin Fowler when they tried to steal their car. On Tuesday 29th October they rocked up with youngest sibling Vinny in tow, enigmatically announcing they were on a mission.
Ben tried to front out his unease as he approached alpha male Kheerat, only to be told their visit was nothing to do with him – and we soon found out who it was the brothers had come to find. Some tragic backstory, intriguing exposition and a hint of things to come came spilling out – here are the top 5 things we’ve learnt about the Panesars…
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Iqra’s girlfriend Ash is definitely their sister
This has been hinted at for a while, and we’d pretty much guessed it, but feisty doctor Ash was confirmed as the guys’ estranged sister, and tracking her down is the real reason they’re in Walford. Youngest brother Vinny was the one to find her, via some social media stalking, and the pair had a heart-to-heart alone in the park where it transpired Ash hadn’t seen her family for four years. What caused them to fall out so spectacularly?
A massive family feud has been raging for years
The as-yet-unseen mother of the family was talked about a lot on that park bench, with Ash recounting how badly she treated her, driving her away – presumably (although this wasn’t made explicit) because of Ash being gay. Vinny was the only one who tried to stand up for his sis at the time but she feels everyone took their meanie mother’s side and has no interest in trying to build bridges. Even when Vinny delivered the next Panesar secret…
They’ve got a dying mum
It turns out said mum who cast her daughter out has terminal cancer and could be dead in four months – but this changes nothing as far as Ash is concerned, and she refused to visit her ailing parent to make peace. Maintaining her tough front, and obviously scarred from what was described as the “vile, brutal” treatment she endured from her mum, Ash insisted she had no interest in putting the past to bed and reconnecting with her clan. But can she really keep away?
Vinny has his eye on Habiba
Vinny is obviously the closest to Ash, and lied to Kheerat and Jags when they regrouped later that he hadn’t found her. As well as having a sweet, protective side Vinny’s also a bit of a cheeky charmer – despite being dressed in a ridiculous pumpkin costume, Habiba Ahmed caught his eye and the pair were quickly flirting up a storm. She can do so much better than love rat Adam, so we’re rooting for these two already.
Jags went to school with Chantelle
A flicker of recognition was shared between Jags and lawyer Gray Atkins when they caught each other’s eye, and Jags later asked big brother Kheerat if he remembered the “tall, fit” girl he had a massive crush on at school – none other than Chantelle Atkins. As we know, Chan got hitched pretty young, but before that were she and Jags a proper item? And if so, how will the controlling, manipulative Gray feel about his wife’s ex being back on the scene?
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