EastEnders fans shocked after spotting THIS familiar face in The Luminaries

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Soap favourite Himesh Patel looked very different in The Luminaries...

EastEnders fans were pleasantly surprised after spotting Himesh Patel in new BBC drama The Luminaries.

Himesh played Albert Square resident Tamwar Masood for nine years, before his character exited the soap to travel the world.

Tamwar and Nancy EastEnders

Himesh is known for playing Walford's Tamwar Masood (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron)

The last fans heard was that he'd married Mick and Linda Carter's daughter, Nancy, in Australia, thousands of miles away from Walford.

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He's since seen roles in films such as Yesterday and the Aeronauts, and most recently, The Luminaries.

TV tonight The Luminaries

Fans were surprised to see Walford favourite Himesh Patel in The Luminaries (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/The Luminaries Production Ltd 2018/Kirsty Griffin)

Soap fans were delighted to see Himesh back on their screens, where he stars as rich and well-liked Emery Staines.

One wrote, "Is the guy in #TheLuminaries Tamwar from Eastenders? I can only see him as being about 15 and a bit geeky!! but that is definitely not what I’m seeing on screen!"

Another added, "It's Tamwar from Eastenders, I don't think I'll will be able to take him seriously as the leading man #TheLuminaries"

A third wrote, "So pleased for geeky Tamwar off Eastenders getting to act opposite /snog Eve Hewson #TheLuminaries"

And a fourth wrote, "No idea what is going and Bono's daughter is in this, I have, seen her before and she is good. I feel old lol. Tamwar from Eastenders is in it too and he is good #TheLuminaries"

Speaking to the BBC, Himesh revealed why he was drawn to The Luminaries.

He said it was due to "The breadth of the story in terms of the characters that hail from all over the world."

Himesh added, "In telling a story of New Zealand, and the history of New Zealand, it tells a story of other parts of the world, because people came to New Zealand from across the globe.

"There is also a slight element of fantasy. It’s a very interesting mix of things."

The Luminaries is available on demand via BBC iPlayer.

BBC One will air EastEnders: Secrets from the Square, hosted by Stacey Dooley, at 8pm on Mondays, while classic episodes of the soap will air at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. 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