EastEnders Ash Panesar stars life from kickboxing glory to Graham Norton link

EastEnders star Gurlaine Kaur Garcha lives a very different life off-screen compared to her character Ash Panesar.

The 27-year-old actress has recently spoken out about feeling emotional when she filmed upcoming scenes where Ash is subjected to cruel racism as she tries to treat a patient in hospital.

Fans of the BBC One soap will see the ignorant patient refuse treatment from her because of the colour of her skin as she tries to pass an important assessment.

Gurlaine admitted that it was all the more poignant for her because of her recent real-life experience of a verbal racist attack.

She told The Metro: "I wasn’t expecting it but after I read the scripts I got really emotional.

"Not because I didn’t want to do it but because I had encountered a racial verbal attack myself recently so it bought it all back for me."

"I was going through those same feelings that I felt when it happened to me.

"I felt like I had a responsibility to show people that they can challenge these things and if something has made you feel uncomfortable due to the colour of your skin or where you’re from, challenge it."

While Ash is struggling to get by in her career and her personal life since the demise of her relationship with Iqra Ahmed and the tragic death of her brother Jags, Gurlaine is living the dream on her glamorous Instagram page.

The stunning actress regularly shares glamorous updates with family and friends for her fans in a variety of stylish outfits and lavish locations.

However, her finest photography work comes in the shape of some truly striking bikini photos.

She often poses in a skimpy two-piece bathing suit showing off her enviably toned body and pleasing her 36,000 strong Insta following in the process.

Gurlaine started out her career with the BBC by working as a runner on The Graham Norton Show for two years before embarking on her acting career.

She joined the cast of Eastenders in 2019 but prior to that also had smaller acting roles in Holby City and Doctors.

She also worked as a reacher on The Graham Norton Show.

Gurlaine is also an accomplished kickboxer – which explains the athletic bikini body.

She is a former European Tae Kwon Do Champion and is also highly trained in boxing and kickboxing.

Her fighting skills led to her appearing on The Alan Titchmarsh Show where she joined Olympian Louis Smith in teaching the presenter some self-defence moves.

Gurlaine isn't afraid to use her platform to give a voice to a variety of important causes.


Her Instagram page is full of posts supporting a variety of both charitable and social issues.

She recently shared a story with her followers about the fear she felt in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard when a car full of men began harassing her as she walked home alone at 10.15pm.

After sharing the story with her followers she noted: " I’m lucky to be a strong, confident young woman who’s trained martial arts all her life. Doing so has always made me feel that little bit safer knowing I can defend myself.

But even then, I still felt the fear we all share. What about those less confident, or those more fearful? What about those who have no choice but to walk home from work late at night? How do we ensure they feel safer?

Gurlaine often posts snaps with her co-stars as she enjoys spending time with them off set.

The star is seen cuddled up with her on-screen brothers in a series of snaps where they are out enjoying food and drinks scattered through her social media account.

EastEnders airs Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on BBC One

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