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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
EastEnders star fights acting ban
Dalip Tahil
Tahil is an experienced Bollywood actor
An EastEnders actor stripped of his UK work permit has blamed his solicitor for him working illegally in Britain.

Dalip Tahil, 51, who played family patriarch Dan Ferreira, is fighting moves to stop him acting in the UK.

Tahil, a leading Bollywood actor, had to pull out of the series last year, forcing producers to rewrite scripts.

Tahil said his solicitor made a "catalogue of errors" over his visa applications. A London hearing was told the unnamed lawyer had since resigned.

The Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) hearing was told that the solicitor - known only as Mr B - was suspended from his law firm and had since quit citing clinical depression.

Ferreira family, EastEnders
The Ferreira family is to be axed from EastEnders next year
He is under investigation by the Law Society and is alleged to have misled immigration authorities, the hearing was told.

Tahil, who has starred in more than 100 films in his native India, came to the UK in April 2002 from Mumbai to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Bombay Dreams.

He was granted a Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) visa which allowed him to work freely in the UK.

He was hired by the BBC to play Dan Ferreira, and upon recommendation he went to a solicitor who applied for a new HSMP for the actor.


Laurie Fransman QC, representing Tahil, told the IAA that the visa application was never made, although Mr B told his client it had simply been rejected.

Mr B recommended that Tahil apply for a work permit through a company the actor had set up himself. This was granted and he went on to work at the BBC for most of 2003.

It was only after an interview with immigration services in August last year, accompanied by Mr B, that Tahil realised he was working without the right visa, the IAA heard.

The BBC made a retrospective application to the Home Office agency Work Permits UK, but was unsuccessful and was forced to drop him. The case continues.

Last week the BBC announced that the entire Ferreira family was to leave EastEnders in a mutual decision by the programme makers and actors.

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