1kidnapEastEnders favourite Masood is going to be kidnapped on Thursday. After announcing he’s leaving Walford to start a new life in Pakistan, his friends are seriously miffed – so much so that Denise Fox and her sister Kim decide to hold him hostage.

In a sneak preview released by the BBC, poor Masood looks baffled as the ladies lock him in their car and refuse to let him out. “I thought I told you to take the next right?” he says, puzzled. “Kim are you even listening to me?” Denise then pipes up: “We’re not going anywhere until we make you see sense.” Kim then locks the doors so that all three are stuck in the vehicle. “You’re kidnapping me?” Masood then asks.

EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra will be bowing out of the show this week after playing Masood for nine years. Although news of his departure came as a shock to fans, apparently, it had been on the cards for a while. “Honestly – I thought about leaving every year,” he confessed to Radio Times. “But then I’d always end up hearing about a new story and deciding to stay.”

However, when Himesh Patel – who played his on-screen son Tamwar – left earlier this year, Nitin realised it was time for him to say goodbye to Walford too. The actor explained: “Certainly Himesh leaving was really emotional for us both because we’re very close … when he went, it did stimulate the idea that it was time for me too. But it had been at the back of my mind anyway.”