Yusef Khan

Yusef Khan
Yusef Khan
Yusef Khan.jpg
Yusef Khan in 2011
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Ace Bhatti
Introduced by Bryan Kirkwood
Duration 2010—
First appearance 23 November 2010
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Date of birth 1960/1961
Home 1b Albert Square
Occupation General practitioner

Doctor Yusef Khan is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Ace Bhatti. Yusef is the father of Afia Khan (Meryl Fernandes) and former husband of Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia). He appears from 23 November 2010. Described as strong-willed, he arrives as Walford's new general practitioner. Bhatti has praised the cast for being so welcoming to him. Speaking to Inside Soap, he explained that he is "thrilled" to be a part of the regular EastEnders cast.[1] On 25 October 2011, it was announced in The Sun that Yusef would leave as part of the fire storyline at Christmas.

Yusef is Zainab's former husband. He started the fire that Zainab was trapped in. Yusef returns to the square and immediately makes a strong enemy in Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) and continues to enrage him, leading Masood to kidnapping Yusef. Yusef gets his payback by covering himself in petrol and blaming it on Masood. He constantly tries to make amends with Zainab, his former wife, and is mistakenly accused of having an affair with her; Zainab's entire family abandons her when they find out Yusef stayed the night with Zainab, immediately seeing the wrong side of it.

Contents

Storylines

Backstory

Born and raised in Pakistan, Yusef married Zainab Masood (Nina Wadia) at the age of 17.[2] Zainab brought shame upon her family after she had an affair with Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) while still married. As punishment, Yusef set Zainab on fire, though he claimed it to be his family's doing and he tried to save Zainab. Masood rescued her and Zainab divorced Yusef to marry Masood. Yusef later remarried and had a daughter, Afia (Meryl Fernandes).

2010—

Yusef first appears when Afia introduces him to her boyfriend Tamwar Masood (Himesh Patel). Tamwar feels he is not good enough for Afia in Yusef's eyes as he is from a poor background, but Yusef says that does not matter and approves of Tamwar. After Tamwar mentions his mother Zainab Masood's name, Yusef visits his parent's home and finds the door open. When Zainab sees him, she screams and orders him out. It is revealed they were husband and wife from an arranged marriage when Yusef was 17,[2] and Yusef's family had poured oil on her and set her on fire. Yusef says it was his family, not him, and he attempted to save her, revealing bad scarring on his body. Tamwar's father Masood Ahmed, Tamwar and Afia return home, and Masood attacks Yusef, punching him twice. After Yusef returns, Tamwar asks Masood to speak to Yusef, and when he visits, he finds out Tamwar and Afia are still seeing each other. He gives his blessing for them to be married. Yusef becomes the local general practitioner for Walford and takes an interest in Denise Fox (Diane Parish). He is later pickpocketed by Janine Malloy (Charlie Brooks). Denise tells Yusef that there have been rumours about him going round, Dot Branning (June Brown) is responsible so He goes and talks to Dot; she ignores him. Zainab tells Yusef that Afia will be welcome to the family but he will not. Yusef reminisces about the past leading to Zainab telling Masood they must stop the wedding. Yusef starts a relationship with Denise.

Yusef encourages Zainab and Masood's estranged son Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) to take the first step in making amends as he is gay, and Syed goes to Tamwar and Afia's mangni (engagement party). The roof collapses and Syed is hospitalised and Yusef lies to Zainab that Syed could die so she visits him, but his injuries were not serious noticing that Yusef tricked her. Yusef offers a loan for the damaged roof, which Masood refuses, but Zainab later accepts. This causes arguments between Masood and Zainab. Yusef makes out that he is sleeping with Zainab so Masood and Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) then kidnap Yusef in an attempt to scare him away. Masood threatens to pour petrol over Yusef, though it is only water and leaves him unharmed. When Masood returns home, Yusef has cuts on his face and blames it on Masood. Everyone believes Yusef and Masood is rejected from his home. Yusef convinces Tamwar, Afia and Zainab that Masood should not be at the mehndi. At the wedding, Masood turns up to try to stop it but Tamwar reveals that he and Afia already married. Yusef's cousin Tariq (Antony Bunsee) arrives and he reveals that Yusef started the fire that burnt Zainab.

After hearing news that Syed is trying to find his wife Amira Shah (Preeya Kalidas), Yusef visits her father, Qadim (Ramon Tikaram) at his office and offers to avenge Syed's family for causing Amira pain. When Zainab and Yusef attend an event together, people assume they are married and Zainab does not correct them. Afterwards, Yusef admits to Zainab that he has great feelings for her but they should maintain some distance as she is married. Yusef continues to manipulate Zainab and ply her with pills, but she says she wishes to stop taking them, so Yusef crushes up a bottle of pills and conceals them in Zainab's food. Zainab passes out and is hospitalised, with her family believing she took a deliberate overdose, as was Yusef's plan. Concerned that he is causing Zainab's worries, Masood divorces Zainab by saying the triple talaq. Yusef learns that Amira gave birth to Syed's daughter Yasmin, so persuades Zainab to take a holiday with him and Kamil in Pakistan. While there, he suggests that they move there permanently as a family. On their return to Walford, Yusef learns that Amira has been seeing Syed, so tells Amira that she is not wanted by the Masood family. Amira ignores him and Zainab meets Yasmin, and informs Yusef that she cannot leave Walford after becoming a grandmother. Yusef then puts doubt into the mind of Syed's boyfriend, Christian Clarke (John Partridge), about Syed's paternity of Yasmin. Christian then asks Yusef to perform a secret paternity test on Yasmin, however Yusef uses his own DNA for the test, creating a false result. However, his falsification is exposed, leaving the Masood family hostile towards him, and Zainab devastated. Later, Yusef tells Zainab that he told the lies to protect her. She is sceptical, but when Yusef revives Amy Mitchell who has almost drowned, Zainab is impressed with Yusef's caring attitude, but says it does not change things.

Amira goes to Yusef for help, saying he needs her on his side, threatening to tell Zainab that Yusef bought her a plane ticket if he does not help her get Syed back. She convinces Zainab to talk to Yusef, and when Yusef sees 15-year-old Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe), who has recently come out as homosexual, running out of Christian's flat, he asks if Christian acted inappropriately. At first Ben says nothing happened but later Ben tells Yusef that Christian touched him, and they tell Ben's father, Phil. This turns out to be untrue, but leads to Christian leaving Syed and Walford. Yusef lies to Zainab that Phil is still looking for Christian and Syed and it is not safe, so he moves in. When Afia and Tamwar return from a holiday, Afia tells Yusef that he will bring shame on her by being in a relationship with Zainab as it will make Afia and Tamwar mahram to each other, but Yusef says he loves Zainab and they should be together. He then meets an imam and reports to Afia that it would be acceptible for him to marry Zainab, and only Allah can judge them, so Afia reluctantly accepts the relationship.

Creation and development

Casting

Nina Wadia who plays Zainab Masood, suggested Bhatti to executive producer Bryan Kirkwood to play the part of Yusef.

Bhatti was already known to EastEnders executive producer Bryan Kirkwood when he auditioned for the part, as Kirkwood and Bhatti worked on Coronation Street at the same time. Bhatti was the only actor who auditioned for the part of Yusef.[3] In fact, Wadia recommended Bhatti to Kirkwood to play Yusef, as she "thought that he definitely had the quality that Yusef would need—which is a very ambiguous but charming quality!"[4]

Personality

On the EastEnders website, Yusef is described as calm, collected, strong-willed, mysterious, loyal to Afia and regretful of his past.[5] Daniel Maier from The Guardian said that Yusef "is clearly a wrong 'un but it's hard to tell exactly what his game is. You suspect he's not sure himself. A Baddie Without Portfolio, most of his time seems taken up with malicious glances and general inveigling."[6] Susan Hill from the Daily Star called Yusef "twisted".[7] Wadia opined that Yusef is not evil but much more complex than that, and his personality would be explored during his storyline.[4] Bhatti told Inside Soap that Yusef has "more bad qualities than good"[2] but is insecure because when Zainab left him, it brought shame on his family.[2]

Storyline development

Yusef is introduced as part of a storyline involving the Masood family. Tamwar dates Afia and when Yusef is introduced to Tamwar's parents Masood and Zainab, Masood "explodes" with anger at the sight of him,[8] recognising him as a man from their past. Ganatra explained that although Yusef allegedly tried to save Zainab from the fire, all Masood saw was Zainab locked in a burning kitchen: "we are only playing it from each person's point of view. Yusef is playing it from his point of view that he did try and save her. Masood is saying, 'All I know is that I went back to get her and she had been locked in this kitchen and it was on fire'."[9] Patel said the storyline is a shocking one with a clever twist.[10] In March 2011, Bhatti said he was staying with EastEnders until around June 2011, and would "see from there".[3] He made his first appearance on 23 November 2010.[11] Ganatra spoke at the British Soap Awards 2011 to Digital Spy and praised the impact of Yusef saying,"He's very much an arch-villain - he's a great character who's there to put jeopardy into the Masoods' relationship. Zainab and Masood have been married for 28 years and they're mad about each other - for someone to come and destroy that slightly, it's exciting. It's exciting for us to play."[12]

"Yusef would die for his daughter - without question, at a moment's notice. At the moment, I think he's very happy that she's found love with Tamwar - he likes the combination between them and he likes the fact that Tamwar makes his daughter happy. He likes Tamwar, but at the same time, that wouldn't stop him from manipulating him."

—Ace Bhatti[13]

In an interview with Digital Spy, Bhatti described his relationship with his daughter Afia, explaining that they have a "strong bond" and that Yusef would die for his daughter. He said that "it definitely hurts" when he finds out that Tamwar and Afia are already married as he is so close to Afia and she has betrayed him.[13] In April 2011, it was reported that Masood would kidnap Yusef, pour petrol on him and threaten to set him on fire. Yusef will then go to the Masood's house and tell Zainab what Masood has done. An EastEnders insider told the News of the World, "Masood has never got over that. Tension has been simmering for a while and leads to an outpouring of violence from Masood that leaves Yusef seriously injured. But Yusef will get his own back. It is a twisted love triangle that will also show the sometimes brutal side of arranged marriages. It's not clear if their marriage will survive Yusef's meddling. [...] Yusef obviously wants [Zainab] back and will do anything he can to drive a wedge between Masood and Zainab."[14] Ganatra said that Yusef will turn "very manipulative and very nasty" and Masood finds him as a big threat saying, "He throws a real spanner in the works for Masood. [...] He is doing everything he can to wreck Masood's life, really, and the way you do that is to get to his family. It's a very clever way of doing things—it's not about destroying his family, it's about winning his family and turning them against him, so that Masood is left isolated and on his own."[9] Ganatra spoke of the storyline saying, "I think there's rumours of revenge! Yusef is a really nice catalyst - he's a very exciting character to throw into the mix. If it goes that way, it's more drama for us to play."[12] The scenes are to air on 2 June 2011 with Phil Mitchell also taking revenge alongside Masood.[15] In an interview with Inside Soap, Khan admits that he is sympathetic for his character, Yusef. The actor said: "He's very insecure. Zainab left him when he was 17 and it brought shame on him and his family. I can understand his behaviour in some ways."Meanwhile, discussing the fan reaction to his character, he admitted: "A couple of women have come up and told me that I'm a bad man." Bhatti also hinted that Yusef will become more firmly established as a Walford villain over the next few weeks. "Well, Yusef does have more bad qualities than good. Fans call me Dr Evil." [16]

Yusef is wrongly accused of having an affair with Zainab, due to his sister-in-law overhearing them speaking. "The whole day turns into a disaster. When Shameem sees Yusef and Zainab together she automatically thinks they're having an affair," a source said. "Everyone struggles to come to terms with what they have just heard."[17] Bhatti has admitted that he is surprised by his status as a heartthrob. Interviewed by Will Payne of the Sunday Mirror, he commented, "It's a great ­compliment, but a complete surprise. Maybe women love the ­character, but if they get to know me they find I'm not smooth, I'm not sophisticated and I don't drive flash cars. I prefer trainers and jeans to smart suits."[18]

Reception

Bhatti revealed that since appearing in EastEnders, people have come up to him in the street and called him a "bad man", and that fans call him "Dr Evil".[2] In May 2011 he was voted 'Best Newcomer' at the TV Quick awards and for 'Best Storyline' for destroying the Masoods.[19] Bhatti was surprised to hear that Yusef is liked mainly by women, but in an interview with the Daily Mirror, he admits that he is nothing like Yusef in real life.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ Rainey, Naomi. "Ace Bhatti: 'Enders cast are so welcoming'". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a321334/ace-bhatti-enders-cast-are-so-welcoming.html. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sickener for Enders doc". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). 23 May 2011. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/3594583/EastEnders-actor-Ace-Bhatti-is-getting-abuse-for-his-on-screen-character.html. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Meet Whitby's soap star doctor". Whitby Gazette. 18 March 2011. http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/local/meet_whitby_s_soap_star_doctor_1_3191521. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "More 'EastEnders' chat from Nina Wadia". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). 31 March 2011. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/scoop/a312016/more-eastenders-chat-from-nina-wadia.html. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Yusef Khan played by Ace Bhatti". EastEnders. BBC Online. 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/eastenders/characters/yusef-khan.shtml. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Maier, Daniel (26 March 2011). "Daniel Maier's World of lather". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2011/mar/26/soap-opera-television. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Hill, Susan (22 May 2011). "EastEnders: Poor Masood's flaming angry". Daily Star Sunday (London: Northern & Shell). http://www.dailystar.co.uk/gameon/view/192187/EastEnders-Poor-Masood-s-flaming-angry/. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Ganatra: It's time Masood got tough". Press Association. 16 November 2010. Archived from the original on 16 November 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5uI4et0yk. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Nitin on dark side of Masood". Holy Soap (Channel 5). 5 May 2011. http://holysoap.channel5.com/eastenders/news/nitin-on-dark-side-of-masood-13925. Retrieved 7 May 2011. [dead link]
  10. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (16 November 2010). "'Enders actor praises Tamwar love story". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a288064/enders-actor-praises-tamwar-love-story.html. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Episode dated 23/11/2010". Director: Lance Kneeshaw; Executive Producer: Bryan Kirkwood; Writer: Wendy Granditer. EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 23 November 2010.
  12. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (16 May 2011). "'EastEnders' actor praises Yusef impact". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a319782/eastenders-actor-praises-yusef-impact.html. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel. "Ace Bhatti - 'EastEnders' Yusef Khan". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/interviews/a324927/ace-bhatti-eastenders-yusef-khan.html. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "'EastEnders' Masood 'to kidnap Yusef'". Digital Spy. 24 April 2011. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a316158/eastenders-masood-to-kidnap-yusef.html. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (2 June 2011). "Masood and Phil kidnap a terrified Yusef". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/spoilers/a320893/masood-and-phil-kidnap-a-terrified-yusef.html. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel. "'EastEnders' actor admits Yusef sympathy". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a320976/eastenders-actor-admits-yusef-sympathy.html. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Daniels, Colin. "'EastEnders' Zainab 'wrongly accused of affair'". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s2/eastenders/news/a324438/eastenders-zainab-wrongly-accused-of-affair.html. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Payne, Will. "EastEnders' Doctor Evil Ace Bhatti reveals he is baffled by his status as a heartthrob". Daily Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2011/07/03/eastenders-doctor-evil-ace-bhatti-reveals-he-is-baffled-by-his-status-as-a-heartthrob-115875-23242613/. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  19. ^ Wightman, Catriona (18 May 2011). "In Full: TV Choice Awards 2011 – Nominees". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a320175/in-full-tv-choice-awards-2011-nominees.html. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 

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