Gurlaine Kaur Garcha, who played Ash Panesar in the BBC soap, has left the show. Her final moments as Ash Panesar aired last week. Here’s what you need to know about the actress’s departure.
Guerlain has been playing Ash for a little over two years, with the EastEnder’s favourite first appearing in August 2019 as Iqra Ahmed’s girlfriend (Priya Davdra). The doctor’s arrival paved the way for Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) and her three brothers to descend on the Square, and the family has been involved in a number of high-profile stories on the BBC serial. The beloved Walford resident decided it was time for her to depart during last Friday’s episode, and it has now been revealed that Gurlaine has left the show.
Why has Gurlaine Kaur Garcha quit EastEnders as Ash Panesar?
Although no official reason for Gurlaine’s departure has been given, it is extremely likely that the decision was made due to the expiration of her contract.
This could have been the ideal opportunity for writers to put Ash’s trip on hold for the time being, as it coincided with storyline requirements.
The Panesar daughter’s leave was hinted at in the episode, and it was implied that this would not be the last time viewers would see her.
In light of the dramatic moments, a spokeswoman confirmed the news to Digital Spy, explaining that the door had been left open for Gurlaine to return.
At this time, the actress has remained silent on all of her social media sites concerning her departure from the show.
Ash’s departure coincided with Iqra’s decision to leave Walford for greener pastures after landing a new position outside of the Square.
Both of the characters, who had been on the program for almost three years, had low-key exits because there was no dramatic occasion to establish their departure.
Gurlaine’s departure from the show was met with disappointment on Twitter, with Amy adding, “I hope she will 10000 percent be back at some point!”
“At least for one episode!” With Ash and Suki, there’s much too much unresolved business! #EastEnders @GurlaineKaur @BalvinderSopal.”
“Has Ash left for good?” Caitlin inquired. No. I really like her, and I really enjoyed Iqra! “I hope Ash hasn’t left for good #EastEnders,” Ziggy said, adding, “I hope Ash hasn’t left for good #EastEnders.”
How did Gurlaine Kaur Garcha, who played Ash Panesar on EastEnders, leave the show?
Gurlaine’s departure from the show came after Ash had a very tumultuous week, with her sexuality thrust into the forefront.
Tragic events occurred after she defied her mother and went out with Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden).
The gang was the target of a hate crime attack, with Ash knocked out cold when her skull collided with the curb and brought to the hospital.
It was revealed after a head scan that she would survive, but this sparked an even greater tale for her mother, Suki.
The Panesar matriarch began to struggle with her sexuality after finally confessing she had emotions for Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton).
Suki berated Ash and shared some extremely nasty comments about her daughter being bisexual as Ash sought to persuade her mother of the importance of her sexuality.
After talking with Eve about how their parents had battled to accept their children’s status as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Ash decided to give her mother another chance.
The doctor handed her mother a rainbow badge and advised her to proudly wear it to express her support while sitting at home.
Unfortunately, Suki turned down the proposal, leaving her daughter feeling more isolated than ever before, prompting her to take action.
The cherished character packed her belongings and said her goodbyes, feeling as though she was no longer a member of the family.
Ash’s farewell scene showed her wheeling a bag out of the house, despite her brother Vinny Panesar (Shiv Jalota) pleading with her to stay.
His efforts were futile, as he was unhappy with his mother for allowing Ash to depart on Tuesday’s episode of the weeknight serial drama.
Suki attempted to contact her daughter to explain herself, but her call went straight to voicemail, crushing the matriarch.
This is the Panesar family’s second exodus, as Jags Panesar (Amar Adatia) was sentenced to prison in 2020.
Last year, viewers learned that he had been slain while serving a sentence in prison, effectively ending his stint on the show.
Gurlaine revealed last year that she auditioned for the show and was told she had landed a role.
“Says the actress: “It’s still bizarre! I’ve been on the show for over a year and still have days where I can’t believe I’m still here.
“Actors often aspire to work in Hollywood, but my aim was to work in Walford with Jake Wood [Max] and Adam Woodyatt [Ian]. My castmates have become like family to me.
“When I auditioned for EastEnders, I said to my Taekwondo instructor that I can really relate to Ash.
“She’s strong, kind, has her head screwed on and knows what she wants. Ash isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and I think that’s great,” she told Inside Soap.
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