Nitin Ganatra has opened up about having body issues after being bullied for his colour.
The EastEnders star, who plays Masood Ahmed on the BBC soap, told Loose Women panellists Andrea McLean, Denise Van Outen, Kelly Brook and Nadia Sawalha about the trouble he has had with his weight.
The 51-year-old was discussing his experience of racism, and how he was attacked and bullied after he moved to the UK from Kenya as a child.
He said that although he laughed it off in public, in private he turned to food to help him cope.
“I was very big, I was probably obese by the time I was about 12,” he said. “So then I went the other way when I went to University and I lost a lot of weight. I studied as an actor in Italy and when I got to Italy they said, ‘We’ve never seen anyone as skinny as you, you need to eat’.
“I think if you’ve been bullied for your weight and your colour, you find ways of coping, and food was a way.”
Nitin is currently appearing in the play End of the Pier at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London.
He stars alongside Les Dennis and Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison, and is doing it at the same time as filming EastEnders.
End of the Pier centres on Bobby, who was once a successful TV comedian but is now down on his luck and living a life of solitude in between panto performances.
One day he finds himself unwittingly thrust back into the limelight when Michael, the nation’s favourite comedian, pays him a visit, asking him to help save his career.
Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV at 12.30pm. EastEnders airs on BBC One.
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