'EastEnders' Masood Ahmed "risks the life" of his ex-wife to protect their son.

The Walford patriarch is forced to take action when Zainab's (Nina Wadia) new husband Yusuf Khan (Ace Bhatti) hides little Kamil in a bid to force her into moving to Pakistan and though he is concerned for his former spouse, he tells her the best thing to do is to act as if everything is normal in her marriage while they work on a way to rescue the youngster.

Masood has to risk Zainab's life in order to protect Kamil, so you can see how high the drama gets in these episodes.

Nitin Ganatra, who plays Masood, explained: "Masood says to her, 'I could save you now - but we have to put our son first'.

"With Kamil still away, they can't let Yusef know that anything is amiss, so that means Zainab has to go back to the lion's den.

"It's such a painful decision for Masood to make, because he'd love to jump in there and beat the hell out of Yusef, but that could mean that Yusef would hurt Kamil.

"Masood has to risk Zainab's life in order to protect Kamil, so you can see how high the drama gets in these episodes."

Long-running soap storylines traditionally come to a climax on Christmas Day but Nitin is glad that his character's current drama will continue to run throughout the festive period.

He told website Digital Spy: "It's such a complex drama to play out, and the writers and the storyliners have done an amazing job on it.

"What's great about these Christmas episodes is that they build and build and build. Soaps can sometimes put all of their eggs in one basket for Christmas Day and it can become a very sensationalist episode. But this hasn't been blocked out in that way. Instead, we're building the drama and even Christmas Day builds up to Boxing Day. The episodes are really good and I'm really proud of them.

"What you'll see is that on Christmas Eve, just when you think that it's okay, it goes wrong. On Christmas Day, it's the same - it goes wrong again as there's another twist. And then on Boxing Day, it's really explosive and there's a big spectacle. But I'm not allowed to say any more than that!"