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Strictly’s Karim Zeroual recalls his EastEnders part – 'I was the old Ben Mitchell’s best friend!'

Strictly star Karim Zeroual, who was in EastEnders
(Image credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

'The Queen Vic was wicked'

CBBC star Karim Zeroual is currently waltzing away on Strictly Come Dancing, but a very long time ago he had a role in EastEnders.

Yep, way before landing his CBBC gig, Karim had a small part on EastEnders in 2006 and he tells us he remembers the experience fondly.

“It’s not a massive credit! I grew up watching EastEnders and I still find it really weird working with Emma Barton on Strictly because I used to watch her on the show.

“I did one episode when I was young – it was a speaking part and I was the old Ben Mitchell’s best friend, Ali.”

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And Karim remembers that one of his favourite memories of his brief stint on EastEnders was getting to work alongside Walford legend Barbara Windsor.

“I got to work with Barbara, so it was incredible, and seeing The Queen Vic was wicked for me.”

Strictly Come Dancing Karim with partner Amy

Karim dancing a salsa with his Strictly partner Amy: 'I absolutely loved doing the salsa with all the booty shaking [in week five to Who Let the Dogs Out] - that was the first week I was less nervous because it was a party dance'. (Image credit: BBC)

Meanwhile, Karim is getting stopped by younger and older fans now he’s on Strictly.

“Before, my viewers were mainly children, but now being on Strictly a lot of people are supporting me, which is great. They talk to me when I’m doing my daily shop. I still go shopping in Aldi – keeping it real.”

Karim is a youthful 25, but some people seem to think he’s even younger. “Yes, I’m 25 but lots of articles say I’m 19 for some reason. People do think I’m younger because I’m a kids’ presenter and I look about 10 years old – I guess it’s good for longevity.”

Watch Karim on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend on BBC1.