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The University of Southampton
The India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development


Meera Syal CBE
Meera Syal CBE

Actress, Comedian, Writer

Meera Syal CBE is a national treasure who has pioneered the acceptability of south Asians to enter the world of arts and entertainment.

Syal’s debut novel, Anita and Me, a semi-autobiography about her life growing up in a mining village in the Midlands in the late 1960s, was made into a film. It is now a GCSE set text for several exam boards.

She came to prominence in the 1990s where she not only wrote Bhaji on the Beach, but was one of the creators of the comedy series, Goodness Gracious Me. That was followed by the international Emmy-award winning comedy The Kumars at No 42.

The polymath has appeared in Dr Who, Holby City and reached number one with Gareth Gates and her co-stars from The Kumars with Spirit in the Sky, the Comic Relief single.

Syal loves the theatre. On stage she starred in the West End in Annie and Shirley Valentine. She also wrote the script for the AR Rahman and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams.

In 2021, Syal will star in the Disney movie, Spin, the first time the organisation has featured a south Asian family as its central characters.

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