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‘Privileged’ Balvinder Sopal reveals EastEnders’ Christmas murder story has ‘made her life’

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Nish and Suki sit on the sofa together in EastEnders
Suki has had a tough year (Picture: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders fans have been buzzing with excitement for this year’s Christmas Day episode ever since it was first teased during the flash forward episode in February – but our excitement is no match for that of the stars involved in the story.

This Christmas, six Walford icons are set to find themselves stood over a dead body in the Queen Vic, with at least one of them having committed the murder.

One of The Six is Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) who, in just a few short years on the Square, has had a massive impact.

The last 18 months alone have seen the return of Suki’s abusive husband Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) after a 20 year prison stretch, the discovery that Ravi Gulati (Aaron Thiara) was responsible for killing Ranveer after allowing her to believe she was to blame for months, and her seemingly doomed affair with Eve Unwin (Heather Peace).

‘We find her in a real conundrum because Eve has gone missing, and Suki doesn’t know where or why or how,’ actress Balvinder Sopal explained.

‘Over the course of the week she kind of starts to piece things together and it feels like things are leading all the way back to Ravi and Nish. She knows that they could potentially have a very good hand in Eve’s disappearance, because they’re villains.

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‘Ravi has a history because he killed Ranveer, and also Nish as well, he killed the man that he thought Suki was having an affair with so they’re both dangerous people. There’s a real kind of danger around Eve going missing and the key players within that so Suki is just trying to find her feet with it all.’

Though Suki is already such an iconic character with a rich history, Balvinder is not taking her involvement in this ground-breaking storyline for granted.

‘It’s an honour. I couldn’t have asked for a bigger and more iconic storyline to be involved in. I think this is Christmas, Eid, Diwali, every religious festival, birthday’s, you name it, all in one. It’s made my life.’

Suki looks at her phone in EastEnders

Suki is heavily involved in the Christmas Day murder (Picture: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

The storyline has kept her guessing all the way along, as she went on to reveal.

‘I’ve loved seeing how it’s all come together because I think when we first did the promo we had no idea whatsoever. There’s been lots of theories, ideas and opinions so you think ‘Ooh it could be this’ and ‘Ooh it could be that’, and ‘Ooh that sounds interesting’.

‘Even us here, we all had our own ideas, and then when the scripts came we were like ‘Oh this is how it pieces together’. For me, it’s the finer detail that is breadcrumbed along the way that is more exciting, but it’s all been wonderful.’

It isn’t just the story itself that Balvinder has enjoyed, but also getting the opportunity to work alongside the other five iconic actresses who make up The Six.

‘I’ve loved it. It’s been like sitting in an acting masterclass every time I’ve been with them. It makes you bring your a-game and I’ve just learnt so much watching them, and learnt so much about them as people as well.

‘There is a huge amount of love, respect and admiration for them all. It’s been exquisite and I’m really lucky and humbled to have shared the space with them.’

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