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Eastenders' Kareena to go and come back as a sex kitten
3rd April, 2004

BBC soap Eastenders will lose Kareena Ferreira for a few months for a make-over which will see her returning as a sex kitten. Kareena is played by Pooja Shah as part of the Ferreira family. She will be packed off to India for two months.

An Eastenders spokesperson today confirmed: "Kareena will leave for a few months ó but will return as a very different girl".

Insiders say the character will most probably return as a 'vamp' to rival Zoe Slater as the soap's biggest sex symbol. It will also come as a complete surprise to the rest of the Ferreira family.

There is growing concern with producers of the show that the much publicised Asian family, introduced only last year, is losing popularity. The move to change Kareena's character is first attempt to make the Ferreira family less dull and more hedonistic.

Pooja recently said in an interview that she was getting bored of her character. "Iím fed up with it now. Kareenaís too dowdy. I wanted Kareena to be different, to stand out. If Iím completely honest, I canít stand her ó she just grates on my nerves. She hasnít got many friends, but then I wouldnít be her friend if I met her."

The move is likely to raise some eyebrows within the Asian community, which still remains highly self-concious of portrayals of Asian characters on screen. With a primetime popular soap such as Eastenders such fears are usually magnified.

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