Nina Wadia to quit EastEnders – Daily TV round-up

Actress who's played Zainab Masood since 2007 will leave in the New Year

Nina Wadia, who plays Zainab Masood in 'EastEnders', is to quit the show it's been confirmed.

Wadia has played Zainab since 2007, and has frequently been involved in central storylines in the BBC soap.

[Related story: EastEnders storylines inspired by the bible]

Wadia... will quit playing Zainab Masood in the New Year (Copyright: BBC)

But she announced on Twitter that she will make her exit from Albert Square in the New Year.

“Playing Zainab has been a gift and a privilege. I’ll always be hugely proud of the fantastically talented friends I’ve worked with,” she said. “And I’m so grateful for the special bond with our audience who watch and care and talk to us every day – we’re a family of millions.

“Letting go of something you love is never easy but the time has come to move on and every ending brings a new beginning. Here’s to future loves…xxx.”

“For the past five years, Nina has brought to life the wonderful Zainab – the formidable, fun-loving, opinionated, fiercely competitive matriarch,” added the show's executive producer Lorraine Newman.

“Nina’s range as an actor is quite exceptional, from her comedic double acts right through to her ability to pull on our heartstrings with incredibly moving drama. We are very sad to be losing Nina and wish her well in ventures new.”

Notable among her plotlines in the show was the discovery of son Syed's homosexuality, her shock pregnancy in her mid-40s and the domestic abuse she suffered with her second husband Yusef Khan.

She is due to film her final scenes in the coming weeks, but won't be killed off. [Radio Times]

Also in today's press

Lisa Riley is out of 'Strictly Come Dancing'. The presenter, who has been consistently popular through the series, crashed out of the running in the dance-off with Denise Van Outen on last night's show. It leaves Van Outen, Louis Smith, Kimberley Walsh and Dani Harmer in next week's grand final. [Digital Spy]

Simon Cowell is to return to London next month for a 'crisis summit' to save 'The X Factor'. “There is not one element we will not be looking at carefully – from judges and start times to auditions and glitzy productions,” said executive producer Richard Holloway. [The Guardian]

Vernon Kaye and Gabby Logan are to present ITV's forthcoming celebrity diving show 'Splash!'. Tom Daley will help train the contestants, while those set to take the plunge include Jordan's ex-boyfriend Leandro Penna, Joey Essex from 'The Only Way Is Essex' and ski jump legend Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards. [The Sun]