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"I'm a woman of my word! If people cross me, they intend to regret it! Just ask the last man who got in my way!!"
~ Suki Panesar threatening Ian Beale to not cross her amid their business partnership.

Suki Panesar is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running British soap opera EastEnders. She serves as the secondary antagonist in 2020 and a secondary antagonist turned anti-heroine in 2021 onwards.

She is portrayed by Balvinder Sopal.

Biography

Suki Panesar first came to Albert Square in Walford along with her family in January 2020. Along with Suki was her three sons Kheerat Panesar alongside his two brothers Jags Panesar and Vinny Panesar, as well as Suki's daughter Ash Kaur.

As the family settle themselves in the square, Suki began to establish her mark by forging a friendship with local resident Jean Slater over the latter's relapsing with her cancer ordeal. Suki claims that she too herself is dying from a terminal illness, to which her family believes; however, Jean later discovers this to be false and exposes Suki's deception in front of her family. Suki's children are outraged with their mother, but she firmly puts them in their place and later threatens Jean to not mess with her.

A few months later, Suki gets involved in another of her children's shenanigans when Vinny commits a robbery at the local market owned by Martin Fowler. Though angry with Vinny's recklessness, Suki decides to cover-up his involvement by implicating Jags as the perpetuator - in retribution for Jags defying his mother's disapproval of his relationship with Habiba Ahmed. Thereafter Jags gets arrested and sent to prison for a crime he never committed. Once more Ash is angry with her mother, but Suki is unfazed and simply puts her in her place again.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Suki buys the local shop and starts to build an empire of her own. She crosses paths with the Mitchell and Slater families on multiple occasions. First off she teams up with nightclub owner Ruby Allen - daughter of the late gangland boss Johnny Allen - to deal with the Slaters over their feud, and later catches the attention of the square's local hardman Phil Mitchell after attempting to blackmail his son Ben Mitchell over their criminal activities. Suki also comes into conflict with Phil's former stepson and Ben's half-brother Ian Beale over a business partnership and she later threatens him for attempting to dismiss her threats. Ian is later attacked by a mystery assailant, soon revealed to be Phil, and along with Kheerat avoid suspicion on the incident.

By 2021, Suki and Kheerat have been expanding their business empire - to the point where Suki makes enemies with both Phil's relative Honey Mitchell after her son Will steals from her shop, and Jean's daughter Stacey alongside her cousin Kat. At the same time, Suki attempts to sway Kheerat from investigating Phil's lawyer Gray Atkins over his assumptions that Gray abused and killed his wife Chantelle - whom Kheerat had fallen in love with during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2021, Suki is shocked to learn that Jags has died in prison. She immediately accuses Ben as the Mitchells had promised to give Jags protection, but Kheerat makes her realize that she herself is to blame for everything that has happened. Suki dismisses her family, even when Vinny attempts to apologize by admitting the truth to Ben's policeman husband Callum Highway.

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Trivia

  • Balvinder Sopal (the actress who played Suki Panesar) was longlisted for Best Villain at the 2020 Inside Soap Awards.
  • Although she hasn’t killed anyone, she is indirectly responsible for her son Jags murder as she set him up to go to prison for the crime Vinny committed.
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