Pooja Shah

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Pooja Shah
Pooja Shah.jpg
Actress Pooja Shah
Pooja Ashwin Shah[1]

(1979-08-08) 8 August 1979 (age 40)
Camden, London, England
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)Will Middleton
WebsiteSpotlight.com cv

Pooja Ashwin Shah (born 8 August 1979 in London, England) is a British actress, filmmaker and model[2] of Kenyan-Asian descent. She is known for her role as Kareena Ferreira in the popular UK soap opera EastEnders. Shah works with her husband directing and writing short films and has won three film awards for them.[citation needed]

Life and career[edit]

Personal life

Pooja Shah's grandparents migrated to Kenya from Gujarat in Western India and so her ancestral roots are there.[3]

Shah has trained as an Indian classical dancer. She attended the University of Brighton, graduating in 2001 with a BA Hons Degree in Theatre with Visual Practice.[3]

She married her husband Will Middleton in 2014. He is a director of photography.[4] They have two children.


Shah began her acting career in the theatre and went on to play the lead role of Mary Magdalene in a small budget film named Jesus the Curry King. The film was produced by the Aylesbury Film Company and was one of the first digital films to be shown in cinemas in the UK.[5]

In 2002 Shah played Meena in the film Bend It Like Beckham. Later that year she played one of the lead roles, Sinjata Kapoor, in the Sky One series Is Harry On The Boat? based on the best selling book by Colin Butts and the 2001 film. The story is about holiday reps in Ibiza and was filmed in Almunecar in Andalusia, Spain. The series was positively reviewed by The Guardian, which said that the "cast and crew threw every last drop of talent and energy into the production, making this one of the liveliest bits of youth-oriented drama this year … a sex-crazed hybrid of Baywatch and Boogie Nights." [6]

Other credits include roles in the BBC hospital drama Holby City (2002), and the American series Adventure Inc. (2003).

In 2003 Shah was cast in her most notable role to date. She played Kareena Ferreira in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The Ferreira family were not well received by critics or viewers and were dismissed as unrealistic by the Asian community in the UK.[7] In 2004 the new executive producer, Kathleen Hutchison, made the decision to axe the entire family in a bid to improve the show, which had suffered from a vast ratings decline.[8] Shah subsequently left the show in 2005.[9]

After leaving EastEnders Shah has appeared in a short film entitled CryBaby,[5] was a celebrity sponsor on the show Strictly Dance Fever and in September 2005 she acted in a feature film called Weekend Lovers.

Shah played the lead role, Sona Virdi, in the play Deranged Marriage, which toured the UK in 2005.

In 2006, she took on a lead role in the Britflick Cash and Curry,which was released in 2008. The film also stars Ameet Chana, the actor who played her on-screen brother Adi Ferreira in EastEnders.

In 2007 she played the role of Reshna Dewan in the ITV police drama The Bill.[10]

Shah was a supporting actress in the 2009 and 2010 BBC drama Missing with lead, Pauline Quirke,[11][12] and starred alongside Brendan Carr in the Modern Life? feature film Ten Dead Men produced by Phil Hobden and directed by Ross Boyask.

In 2010, Shah filmed eight episodes of Coronation Street, playing DC Moore, a police officer investigating an attack on Tracy Barlow. The first episode aired on 3 January 2011.

Shah won a Best Actress award in 2010 at the Rob Knox Film Festival, for her role as Rajinda, a lesbian Indian girl about to tell her parents she is gay, just as they tell her of her arranged marriage to a man who is on his way to meet her.[13]

In 2015, Shah appeared in Challenge idents for Wink Bingo[14] and more recently has featured in Class (The Dr Who spin off) in 2016 and made another appearance in Doctors in 2017.

She filmed In The Long Run (produced and starring Iris Elba) in 2019.[citation needed]

Clients that she has undertaken corporate work for include Deloitte, Great Western Railway, Network Rail, Transport for London, Lloyds Bank and Royal Mail.[15]


  1. ^ "England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcription for Pooja Ashwin Shah, Camden, registered 1979, vol. 14, p. 1908". Retrieved 13 October 2015 – via Find My Past.
  2. ^ "Pooja Shah Actress - Kareena Ferreira - EastEnders - Model - Official Site". www.poojashah.com. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  3. ^ a b "Pooja Shah Actress - Kareena Ferreira - EastEnders Official Site". www.poojashah.com. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  4. ^ Will Middleton www.willcam.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Pooja Shah". Celebrity Agents. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  6. ^ Smith, Rupert (2001-07-09). "Something for the weekend". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  7. ^ "Page Not Found".
  8. ^ "EastEnder accuses BBC of discrimination".
  9. ^ "Farewell to EastEnders' Ferreiras". BBC News. London: BBC. 2004-10-13. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  10. ^ "502 Bad Gateway nginx openresty". www.eastenders-west.com.
  11. ^ "Missing and Missing Live press pack: introduction". Press release. BBC. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  12. ^ "Missing series two press pack: Pooja Shah". Press release. BBC. 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  13. ^ Bexley: Tom Cruise sends best wishes to Rob Knox Film Festival Linda Piper, www.newsshopper.co.uk, 12 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2019
  14. ^ "Pooja Shah fan page". 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  15. ^ Spotlight - Pooja Shah (Further Credits) Retrieved 30 June 2019

External links[edit]