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Syed Masood on Nina, Preeya and 'The Apprentice'
Tuesday, April 14 2009, 06:00 BST
By Kris Green, Soaps Editor
Syed Masood - played by Marc Elliott - began filming with the BBC soap just over two months ago and finally makes his screen debut next Tuesday (April 21). As you'd expect, it's a Masood-centric week with a gentle current of backstory to set viewers at ease.
There are, however, sufficient questions raised to keep you wondering whether he's as genuine as he seems. As is always the case, though, no estranged relative arrives in Walford without a secret or a significant number of skeletons waiting in the wings, edging closer and closer to the closet door.
Here are a few more bits and bobs from my recent interview with the man himself. If you haven't seen it yet, click here to read the main part of the interview. If you have, keep on reading to hear more about Marc filming on location in a luxury Barnet apartment, Syed's potential on The Apprentice, the Nina Wadia fan club and what's to come from his screen girlfriend Amira (Preeya Kalidas).
You got to film in a swanky apartment, too?
"Yeah, it was in Barnet. Apparently it's worth £1.25m! It was very swanky and it was lovely being on location. When you're at the studios in Elstree, everything happens so much faster. But because we were on location for a few days, it was quite prolonged and I had the luxury of being able to go over my lines with Nina and Nitin."
What was it like walking on the lot for the first time?
"Surreal. It's totally surreal and nervewracking. I think it's because it's so iconic."
How do you think Syed would fare on The Apprentice?
"Probably quite similarly to the other Syed in the second series! He was very cocky and ended up falling flat on his face, much like my Syed! They're probably quite similar. Sir Alan would probably buy Syed's lies for the first few weeks, but then rumble him and say 'You're a loser, you're fired!'"
I hear you're a member of the Nina Wadia fan club?
"I'm on Nina's fan club page on the internet every day. All the hits she gets are all me! Even when I'm working with her, I'm on her website! No, I jest – she's absolutely lovely. I have such a great time working with her and I've already had a ball. She made the transition from 'petrified' on my first day to 'comfortable' in such a short space of time. Everyone's been great, though. Nitin, Himesh [Patel] and Charlie [Brooks] – they've all been absolutely amazing."
It's a shame that Zahra Ahmadi - your screen sister Shabnam - isn't around any more, isn't it?
"Yeah, it's a shame. I don't know if there are any plans to bring her back or not, but I hope she does. It'd be nice to meet my 'sister'! It's be great to see the family together."
Then we have Preeya turning up as your screen girlfriend. What can you tell us about their relationship and how she fits into the Masood equation?
"Well, she's a rich daddy's girl and it's hard not to make the association between Syed and money. There's certainly an honest attraction there and I think he does love her. But the money that her father has might be an additional aspect of their relationship.
"Amira comes in and ruffles a few feathers, especially Zainab's. Obviously with Syed being a mummy's boy, she has to have her say. I don't think Zainab would be happy with anyone that Syed's with - they'd have to be absolutely perfect. Mummy Masood will be doing a lot of meddling and locking horns with Amira."
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