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EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra reveals shocking treatment as a kid by racist bullies

EastEnders, Masood Ahmed, Nitin Ganatra
(Image credit: BBC/Nicky Johnston)

Masood actor opens up about the horrific racism he suffered growing up

EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra has spoken about the daily beatings he received from racists as a child.

The Kenyan-born actor, who plays Masood Ahmed in EastEnders, spoke about how growing up his mum was spat at while he and his dad were both beaten up.

He also added that the racism he suffered at school even extended to “maybe some of the teachers”.

Talking on Loose Women, Nitin said: “I’m a kid of the 70s and 80s and when we came over here as immigrants I’d live in a corner shop.

“My mum was being spat at, my dad was being beaten up. I was being beaten up on a daily basis by skinheads.”

He said: “We grew up with racism at school, not just by kids but maybe some of the teachers.”

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Nitin, 51, who’s soon appearing in a play called End Of The Pier which opens this month, said he sort comfort from food as a child.

“I had a sketch pad so I spent a lot of time sketching, and food, comfort eating was my thing.

“I was very big, probably obese by the time I was about 12.

“I think if you’ve been bullied for your weight and your colour, you find ways of coping and food was a way.”

Nitin, who made his EastEnders debut as Masood in 2007, also talked about a teacher, who he is still in touch with, who helped him recover his confidence. “I had a speech impediment at one point. I was so shy. She got me on stage and changed my life.”

End of the Pier also stars Les Dennis and Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison.