EastEnders villain Balvinder Sopal on why THIS Suki scene gave her goosebumps

Suki Panesar in EastEnders
Suki Panesar is keeping something from her family (Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

Tonight marks the start of a HUGE week for the Panesar family...

While she might not be robbing warehouses like Phil Mitchell, Suki Panesar is quickly making her mark as the next big EastEnders villain.

Despite making her presence felt in Walford and in her family in a different way to the traditional soap baddie, Suki will show just how far she will go to protect her family this week.

It's no secret that Jags Panesar is leaving Albert Square, or that Suki's actions are the reason for her son's exit.

Suki Panesar EastEnders BBC

Ruthless Suki lied about having cancer to bring her family back together (Picture: BBC)

But actress Balvinder Sopal, who plays calculating Suki, has admitted that even she is a bit scared of her character...

"If I am completely honest with you I am afraid of Suki. I got goose bumps as I was filming some scenes!"

More: Maisie Smith - things you didn't know about the EastEnders and Strictly star

But someone who really should be scared of Suki is poor Jags, who is about to find himself on the wrong side of this mother's wrath when he stands up to her.

"What’s really interesting is that I am finding out so many different things about her every single time we do a scene.

Jags announces his relationship in EastEnders

Jags Panesar risks his mother's wrath after revealing who he's dating! (Picture: BBC)

"She is a bit of an animal, she is a bit ruthless and she is unapologetic. She literally doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her."

Friends for life... 

But in real life, Balvinder and Amar Adatia, who played Jags, are great friends...

"I will miss him! He was lovely to work with, he was really funny and gentle we just had a laugh.

"We do keep in touch though and hopefully we will catch up in the next couple of weeks, depending on the COVID regulations of course!"

Walford domination 

But turning on her own son to protect the rest of the family isn't the only thing on Suki's agenda.

It seems she could also be quietly planning to take over the Square...

Suki Panesar EastEnders BBC

Suki is up to her old tricks again this week (Picture: BBC)

Having bought the Minute Mart, the Slaters' house and the pest control company, it seems Suki is a businesswoman on a mission...

"It’s exciting! I wonder what she’s going to buy next, is she going to buy the laundrette? Walford East? The Vic?!

"That would be another level for EastEnders, an Asian family behind the most iconic pub in the history of soap," Balvinder laughs. "It would just be brilliant!"

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.