Nitin Ganatra quits EastEnders
'EastEnders' actor Nitin Ganatra - who played Masood Ahmed in the BBC soap for nine years - has quit.
Nitin Ganatra has quit 'EastEnders'.
The fan favourite - who played Masood Ahmed in the BBC soap for nine years - will bow out of the show later this year, but insisted that his character could return in the future.
He told Radio Times: "When I trained as an actor, I set out to play many different characters and never did I know that I would be so fortunate to have found a character that I have loved playing for nine years.
"However, after thinking long and hard, I have decided that it is time to get back out there and take on some other roles. I will of course miss everyone at 'EastEnders' - I have had a brilliant time there, and who knows, one day Masood may be back."
An 'EastEnders' spokesperson added: "We can confirm that Nitin will be leaving 'EastEnders'. Nitin has been a wonderful addition to the cast for the past nine years and we wish him all the best for the future."
After fans took to Twitter to share their dismay at his upcoming departure, Nitin tweeted: "Genuinely touched by the response to the news of my leaving #EastEnders And Thankyou for the #masood love!!! (sic)."
Nitin's is the latest departure from the 'EastEnders' cast, with Danny-Boy Hatchard (Lee Carter), Samantha Womack and Rita Simons (Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell) all set to bow out in the next few months.
All three exits are reportedly the brainchild of executive producer Sean O'Connor, who took over from Dominic Treadwell-Collins earlier this year.
A source said: "Sean's arrival has brought massive change to 'EastEnders', not least in the decision to exit Ronnie and Roxy.
"Others are now looking around and wondering who could be next to walk."