Nina Wadia — things you didn't know about the former 'EastEnders' star

Nina Wadia
Former EastEnders star Nina Wadia is taking to the dancefloor for this season of Strictly Come Dancing. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Nina Wadia is one of the 15 celebrities taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2021. She's best known for her role as Zainab Masood in EastEnders who she played for six years. Nina is also known for comedic roles in Skins, Goodness Gracious Me and Still Open All Hours and has also appeared in British shows like The Vicar of DibleyThin Ice ChambersHolby CityMurder in MindDoctors and New Tricks.

Outside of acting, Nina has also done presenting work and appeared on ITV's Loose Women from 2005 - 2006, was a contestant on The Crystal Maze and took part in new Channel 4 series Can I Improve My Memory?

But what else do we know about Nina Wadia? Here are several things you probably don't know…

1. She has lived in Mumbai and Hong Kong

Nina Wadia was born in Mumbai and has two siblings, then the family later moved to Hong Kong when she was nine years old. In an interview with The Independent, she said: "The home I grew up in was a one-bedroom, ground-floor space that regularly flooded during the monsoon season in Mumbai. My brother, sister and I squeezed together on the bed and my mum and dad slept on a mattress on the floor. Aged nine, we moved to a two-bedroom flat in Hong Kong. It was like moving to a mansion."

2. She's worked in radio

As well as her television work, Nina has also appeared on the radio, where she took part in radio plays. She has guested on Parsons and Naylor's Pull-Out Sections, as well as making regular appearances on the BBC World Service soap opera Westway as Namita ul-Haq, and voiced the role of Ariel in a BBC Radio 3 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest

3. She had a traditional Parsi wedding

Nina Wadia had a traditional Parsi wedding to her husband, who she met in Canada. According to The Sun, Nina "wore a deep red sari with silver trimming at her wedding and then changed into an ivory sari with gold trimming for the reception".

4. She's done plenty of charity work

Nina Wadia has taken part in a number of charitable events including the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal Concert and Fashion Show, at the Royal Albert Hall, and campaigning for Save the Children and for increased organ donation from Asians in Britain. She is also a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) ambassador and received an OBE in the 2021 New Year's Honours List for her services to charity and entertainment.

5. She realised she was famous when she was attacked in a supermarket

Nina recalled a shocking moment where she realised she was publicly known, after a woman punched her in the supermarket. Talking to The Look, she explained:
"I couldn't believe it. I was shopping with my mum in Somerfield when this elderly Asian woman marched up and punched me hard on the arm.

"Then she said, 'So, you are that dirty girl from that disgraceful show. I've watched them all and they're all disgusting. How dare you wash our dirty linen in public. You should be ashamed of yourself'. She was dragged away by other shoppers and told not to watch it if she didn't like it."

Nina Wadia Fact File

How old is Nadia Wadia?

Nina Wadia is 52 years old. She was born on 18 December 1968. 

Is Nina Wadia married?

Yes Nina Wadia is married. She has been married to composer Raiomond Mirza since 1998.

Does Nina Wadia have children?

Nina and Raiomond have two children: Tia Nina Mirza and Aidan Mirza.

Where was Nina Wadia born?

Nina Wadia was born in Mumbai, India.

How tall is Nina Wadia?

Nina Wadia is 5ft 5in tall (1.58 m).

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress