BBC EastEnders Suki Panesar’s real life from storyline fears to forgotten TV role

As EastEnders' Suki Panesar reaches a crossroads in her complicated romantic life, we take a look at actress Balvinder Sopal's real life behind the scenes, from her LGBTQ+ storyline fears, to her long-forgotten TV role


Suki has been left dealing with all sorts of feelings after a conversation with Eve (

Image: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders’ Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) has been dealing with many complex emotions. Having broken things off with her true love Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) back in the summer, she’s currently trapped in a bitterly unhappy marriage with husband Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry), who has been subjecting her to both physical and psychological abuse.

Now Suki has been left dealing with further heartbreak after a candid heart-to-heart with Eve, who confided that she is no longer interested in returning to their closeted relationship after meeting new girlfriend Tessa. As the businesswoman deals with her feelings head-on, we take a look at the life of actress Balvinder away from Walford.


Balvinder was a little nervous ahead of Suki and Eve’s ‘slow burn love story’ 


BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

LGBTQ+ storyline fears

Suki and Eve’s romance has compelled many viewers, with the pair widely regarded to be soulmates. Balvinder has previously admitted however that she found taking on a same-sex relationship storyline ‘daunting’, explaining that it was a sharp change from her previous work.

Speaking with BBC Radio Kent back in 2022, Kent-born Balvinder revealed: “For a lot of my career I have played women who have never been exposed in that way, sexually. It has always been women who cannot speak English, that wear a hijab. Suki is everything I have never played. So doing kissing scenes with somebody that is not a partner is quite daunting and weird and strange.”

In a separate interview with Digital Spy, Balvinder praised the ‘slow-burn love story’ of Suki and Eve, which she regarded as ‘truthful’ and ‘sensitive’ towards both LGBTQ+ and South Asian communities.

Picture Shows: Mumtaz Gani (BALVINDER SOPAL), Sister Julienne (JENNY AGUTTER)

Balvinder is a remarkably versatile actor 


BBC/Neal Street productions)

Forgotten part in major drama

Although Balvinder, 44, is perhaps best known for playing Suki, eagle-eyed viewers may well recognise her from a major BBC show, where she played a very different character indeed. Long before she set foot in Albert Square, Balvinder had a memorable role in beloved period drama Call The Midwife, playing heartbroken Mumtaz Gani

Call The Midwife fans were left devastated by the plight of Mumtaz, who had to contend with her husband marrying her cousin behind her back, before promptly starting a family with her. Mumtaz struggled to deal with the betrayal, which was all the more dismaying as she longed for children of her own.

Members of a Call the Midwife fan club Facebook group have previously heaped praise on Balvinder’s versatile acting abilities, with one person commenting: “Very different characters played, good acting.” Another agreed: “Suki on Call the Midwife. I like her. Good actress.” Balvinder has also appeared in a range of rival shows before joining the EastEnders team, with her CV listing parts in Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Doctors, and Hollyoaks.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/

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