A FORMER EastEnders star saw the world a far cry from her character in Albert Square when she appeared at the premiere of The Bay series last night.
Zahra Ahmadi, the actress who first played Shabnam Masood in 2007, returns to the screen in the ITV horror drama series as Shazia Riaz.
The 40-year-old has built up a good CV of acting credits since leaving The Square, including roles in Doctor Who, Black Mirror and Marcella.
In EastEnders Zahra is the daughter of Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) and Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia).
Her year on the show was dominated by a major identity crisis as she struggled to find a balance between her family’s traditional Muslim heritage and British culture.
In the end, she left for Pakistan to find herself. When the character returned in 2014, she was played by Rakhee Thakrar.
Meanwhile in The Bay, DS Jenn Townsend was immediately thrown into the abyss after moving to the seaside town of Morecambe when a body was found in the bay on her first day on the job.
Her investigation leads her into the life of an aspiring young boxer Saif the grieving but suspicious family, who clearly has a secret.
Shazia shed tears beside her mother as police inquired about the dead athlete and his loved ones.
Viewers were outraged on Twitter after just one episode, saying the killer was obvious.
People were quick to point fingers at Saif’s brother on Twitter, writing: “We went with Jamal did it?”
It all seemed to come to an end too soon, as others spotted Jamal looking distinctly 16 years older than he was.
One person posted: “16 year old Jamal looks more like 35, I think he made it!”
And another wrote: “Bad acting… how old is Jamal if he’s in the same class as that boy”
“Has Jamal been kept in school? It’s been 40 years?”
“Jamal is the only boy in high school with a wife, mortgage, and two kids he’s raising!” wrote another fan.
Others have different theories, with one suggesting that DS Townend’s handsome husband was involved in the gruesome death.
Seeing him again in the final scene tonight, this person emphasized on Twitter: “He’s her husband! He’s a killer!”
Marsha has replaced actress Morven Christie, who will not be returning for the ITV murder mystery series.
After two successful series on The Bay, Scottish actress Morven decided to leave the show without giving a reason.
The show’s producers told ITV: “The show’s producers thank Morven for her wonderful contributions to The Bay and wish her every success in the future.
“While the show’s DNA has remained the same, the change in host offers an exciting opportunity to place a new character at the heart of the series and explore the world of Morecambe from a fresh perspective.”
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