Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 12:29 UK

This Life star joins EastEnders

Ramon Tikaram
Ramon Tikaram will be seen on screen later this year

This Life star Ramon Tikaram has joined the cast of BBC One soap EastEnders, it has been announced.

The 42-year-old, who played Ferdy Garcia in the 1990s drama, will play Amira Shah's father, Qadim Shah.

"It's great to be joining a programme that represents a Muslim family in a positive light," the actor said.

Tikaram will first appear on screen later this year when Amira visits him in prison and again when he is released in time for his daughter's wedding.

Qadim is described as an "intelligent and dynamic man" who "oozes charm and sex appeal".

But a series of dodgy bank loans and fraudulent investment schemes used to support his empire of rental apartments saw him land in prison.

Although Qadim was a doting father to Amira, the pair's relationship has been strained since the death of his wife which has left him a "bitter, controlling tyrant".

As well as starring in This Life, Tikaram has also appeared in ITV series Primeval and BBC drama Silent Witness.

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