TV & Movies

EastEnders star Himesh Patel’s life after soap exit – from Hollywood stardom to teasing Albert Square return

EASTENDERS star Himesh Patel played lovable geek Tamwar Masood for nine years – but since his soap exit his acting career has skyrocketed.

The actor starred in the BBC soap from 2007 to 2016 and has surprised fans over the years by landing huge roles in Hollywood films and various TV dramas.

The market inspector said goodbye to Albert Square five years ago, leaving Walford for a new life in Australia with on-screen wife Nancy Carter (Maddy Hilly).

However, since Nancy's return earlier this year, fans have begged for Tamwar to make an epic comeback.

But since is soap exit Himesh has been making a name for himself across the pond – landing huge roles in blockbuster films.


Himesh, 29, has hit the big-time following his departure from Albert Square in 2016.

He's appeared in two major films but most recently has graced our small screens in The Luminaries.

From a young age he would always impersonate his favourite TV and film characters, hoping one day he would be able to make it to the small and big screen.

After performing in his first school play aged 11, his parents then signed him up for a local theatre group, the Key Youth Theatre in Peterborough.

He liked Indie, rock and Bollywood music growing up and played both the piano and guitar.

Himesh made his debut into the world of film in 2019 in Yesterday – a romcom in which he plays the leading man who takes credit for all The Beatles' music as no one else can remember them.

In 2019 he also starred in The Aeronauts alongside big names like Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

He also appeared in Christopher Nolan's Tenet, Himesh played a pivotal character alongside John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and Michael Caine.

He stated that the scale of the film is just “incomprehensible” and then when you find out that it is all been done in-camera, with maybe a “tiny bit of CGI”, it is “mind-blowing” for the actor.


Despite finding fame on the cinema screen, Himesh has remained loyal to the small screen and recently starred in BBC drama The Luminaries.

His appearance in the 2020 six-part murder mini-series surprised fans.

Set during the 1860 gold rush in New Zealand, fans were extra surprised to see the former Walford mainstay in his waistcoat and period clothing while playing Emery Staines.

One fan wrote: "loved watching The luminaries and couldn't put my finger on 1 of the cast members who I recognised. Took till episode 5 and it twigged its Tamwar Masood in Eastenders"

Another said: "Is the guy in #TheLuminaries Tamwar from Eastenders? I can only see him as being about 15 and a bit geeky!! See-no-evil monkeybut that is definitely not what I’m seeing on screen!"

A third added: "Hadn’t noticed Tamwar from #Eastenders was in this until someone on here mentioned it. Now I can see *only* Tamwar when he appears. Bummer. #TheLuminaries"

After leaving the world of soaps behind, the actor landed a role in the first episode of Channel 4 sitcom Damned.


The then-17-year-old actor was involved in some hard-hitting storylines including suffering serious burns in a house fire back in 2011.

His marriage to first wife Afia (Meryl Fernandes) didn't last for very long and he urged her to move on after the injury.

However, Tamwar found love again with unlikely love interest Nancy Carter and eventually agreed to show her his scars.

Viewers were desperate to see Tamwar return after Nancy returned to Walford earlier this year.

He said to the Observer magazine: “There’s a thin line between being on a soap and being a celebrity.

“You often see people from EastEnders going to do I’m a Celebrity or Strictly – which is great if that’s what you want to do.

“But from going to a lot of these awards ceremonies, it wasn’t somewhere I was ever going to enjoy myself.”

He added: “I’d been doing it since I was 16 and it was all I’d known as an adult. It was a leap of faith.

“I remember on that last day I drove out the gates that last time, and I just thought: here we go, let’s see what happens.”

In 2019 he insisted he had a “never say never” attitude to returning and would consider it if he was asked.

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