Ganatra at the 2011 British Soap Awards.
|Residence||North London, England|
Meera Ganatra (m. 2004)
Early and personal life
Ganatra was born in Kenya in 1967. Both sides of Ganatra's family have origins in Gujarat, which were explored on-screen in the 2013 series of Who Do You Think You Are? His great grandfather arrived in Kenya in the late 1890s as one of 32,000 contracted labourers to build the Uganda Railway. One of under 10,000 to stay in the country after the railway's completion, his grandfather and his father later joined the family's general trading business.
After Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom and forced the native Indian population to choose between Kenya and their British passports in 1971, Ganatra, aged 3, moved with his family to Coventry, where the family still own a corner shop.
Ganatra was educated at Coundon Court School and Community College on Northbrook Road and then studied Drama, Film and TV at the University of Bristol. He went on to train under the tutelage of the late Master theatre practitioner Jerzy Grotowski.
Ganatra is known internationally as Prince Pondicherry in the Tim Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also appears in the Gurinder Chada film Bride and Prejudice as Kholi Saab and The Mistress of Spices as Haroun, and Dev Raja in Mumbai Calling. He also appeared in the first ever iPod commercial. Ganatra also appeared in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show, as Joanie Taylor's daughter's partner.
Other appearances include the TV show Jane Hall, the Patents Clerk in Philip Pullman's The Shadow in the North, the CBBC television show Gina's Laughing Gear, a character in Meet the Magoons playing himself, a semi lead role as Rez, brother of main character Shifty, in the 2008 British cult film Shifty about a Muslim crack-cocaine dealer, and Martin Soper in Twenty Twelve. He also appeared in Being April, playing the role of Sinil.
On 25 March 2015, Ganatra featured in a comedy interview alongside comedian Paul Chowdhry in which he jokingly lost his temper and "attacked" Chowdhry.
It was announced in May 2017 that Ganatra would appear in comedy feature Eaten by Lions, alongside Antonio Aakeel and Jack Carroll. He also appeared in the Channel 4 drama The State, portraying the role of the father of a young British Muslim who went to joined ISIS.
Since 16 October 2007, Ganatra has played regular character Masood Ahmed in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He also appeared in the 2010 spin-off series EastEnders: E20. Ganatra left EastEnders in 2016. On 3 October 2017, it was announced that he would be reprising the role. He made a one-off appearance on 28 November 2017, and returned permanently on 1 January 2018. On 26 January 2019, it was announced Ganatra had decided to leave his role as Masood, and will leave the show later in 2019.
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- "BBC One - EastEnders - Masood Ahmed". BBC. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra to leave Masood Ahmed role". Radio Times. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "Postman Masood Ahmed is set to return to EastEnders one year after quitting the show". The Sun. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "EastEnders exit for Masood as Nitin Ganatra confirms departure". Radio Times. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- Simon, Jane (2009-05-11). "British Soap Awards: Common sense prevails as Danielle death storyline protest fail to undermine EastEnders success". mirror. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "Nitin Ganatra - Nominated for Best Soap Actor - The TVChoice Awards 2013 - EastEnders - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 2019-01-30.