Emmerdale‘s Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) confronts his dad’s girlfriend Manpreet Jutla (Rebecca Sarker) over her secret financial troubles on Wednesday 6 February after her car is repossessed the day after her payment card was declined in the Woolpack. Suspicious she is hiding something from his dad Rishi Sharma (Bhasker Patel), Jai wants answers but Manpreet pleads with him not to tell her other half how much trouble she’s in.
With Manpreet and Rishi getting very serious now she’s moved in, the debt-ridden doctor could soon be Jai’s new stepmother – but it’s not the first time Sarker and Bisson have played members of the same soap family. Wind the clock back 20 years and across the pennines and they were brother and sister Nita and Vikram Desai in Coronation Street – part of the soap’s first Asian family.
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Who were the Desai family in Coronation Street?
Ravi Desai (played by the late Saeed Jaffrey) arrived on the cobbles, along with grown up children Nita and Vikram in January 1999 and spent seven months managing the corner shop on behalf of his nephew, Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin). Nita was the older, more sensible sibling and rose up the ranks at Freshco’s supermarket working alongside Corrie legend Curly Watts. She briefly dated Steve McDonald, then something of a bad boy, but decided to leave Weatherfield for a new job in Scotland in May 2000.
Naughty Vik had a longer but more scandalous stint on the street, getting caught up in gambling, drug smuggling and a dangerous affair with a married older woman. He dated Leanne Battersby, Maria Sutherland and factory girl Bobbi Lewis, among others, and formed a dodgy duo double act with Steve – which went sour when Vik involved him in his drug running, causing them to fall out and for Mr McDonald to demand his mate leave town for good. He was last heard of living in India.
Wonder if Bisson and Sarker swap stories of the street on their lunch break at the Dales…?
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