Meera Syal is a woman of many talents. A successful writer and actress, she has written and starred in a wide range of television, radio and theatre productions. Meera co-wrote and starred in the first Asian comedy sketch show to be broadcast on the BBC; ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, first heard on Radio 4.

Meera Syal: Award Winning Comedian

Its popularity thrust the talents of the team into the public eye; with fresh, innovative comedy appealing to both mainstream and Asian audiences. Winning ‘Best Comedy Series’ at the 1998 British Comedy Awards.

Indian Roots

Meera Syal is very proud of her Indian roots and was aware of her racial difference from an early age. At school, Meera was not a victim of racism, but was picked on because she was ‘mouthy’. “I’d grown up with the lads in the yard, I’d hit anyone if they called me names”.

Little India

At home she lived in a ‘little India’ – a world preserved by her parents. From a young age Meera wanted to do something creative but didn’t feel that she could. Her parents wanted her to become a doctor. When she told them at 15, that she didn’t want a career in medicine, her parents accepted it.

Meera Syal: Academic

Meera Syal studied English and Drama at Manchester University. She did very well there, and got a double first. She didn’t do much acting at university, “I wasn’t picked for the good parts”. So Meera decided to write a play for herself, ‘One of Us’, scripted by her friend Jacqui Shapiro. The story was about a young Asian girl who runs away from home because she wants to be an actress.

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