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Sanjeev Bhaskar

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Sanjeev Bhaskar Biography

Sanjeev Bhaskar

Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE

Medium: Comedian, actor, broadcaster
Nationality: British Indian
Years active: 1991-present
Spouse: Meera Syal (m. 2005-present) start: (2005-01-21)"Marriage: Meera Syal to Sanjeev Bhaskar" Location: (linkback:
Notable works and roles: See below

Sanjeev Bhaskar, OBE (born 31 October 1963) is a British Indian comedian, actor and broadcaster, best known for his work in the BBC Two comedy series Goodness Gracious Me and as host of The Kumars at No. 42. He also presented and starred in a documentary series called India with Sanjeev Bhaskar where he travelled India and visited his ancestral home in today's Pakistan.

In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.


Personal life

Bhaskar was born in Ealing, and grew up living above a launderette in Hounslow, west London. He experienced racism at school, Hounslow and Southall being particular targets for the British National Front. At one point in his sixth form, all but two of 150 students refused to talk to or sit with him.

At first, Bhaskar’s father-a factory supervisor for Nestl-and mother-a bookkeeper-were mortified by their son’s proposed career. To appease them, he earned a degree in marketing from The Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire) before landing a job as a marketing executive at IBM. He soon realised that he preferred comedy to marketing and joined forces with an old college friend, Nitin Sawhney, to start a musical comedy double act called "The Secret Indians (non-Asian)" which they first performed in 1996 at the now-defunct Tom Allen Arts Centre in East London. This performance was featured on a BBC magazine show called Reportage. They performed extensively also at the Watermans Arts Centre with numerous other acts at a regular Asian comedy night called "One Nation Under a Groove...Innit". Their real break came when they were performing a show at the Oval House venue in South London where, after a strong review in Time Out magazine by journalist and playwright Bonnie Greer, they were approached by Anil Gupta, the producer of what was to become the BBC sketch series Goodness Gracious Me.

In 2005 he married his frequent collaborator, Meera Syal, who plays his grandmother in The Kumars at No. 42 and was his co-star in Anita and Me. In August of that year, it was announced that they were expecting their first child. Their son, Shaan, was born at the Portland Hospital on 2 December 2005.

In February 2009 Bhaskar and other entertainers wrote an open letter to The Times of London protesting against the trial of Bahx'x leaders then being held in Iran.

Before the 2010 general election, Bhaskar was one of 48 celebrities who signed a letter warning against Conservative Party policy toward the BBC.


At the age of 32, he at last felt that his parents were pleased with him. "For the first 32 years of my life, they didn’t laugh at a single thing I said", he jokes. "Then, quite frankly, they just jumped on the bandwagon because they saw everyone else was laughing!" Bhaskar has starred in a number of United Kingdom-produced films including The Guru and Anita and Me. He also had a cameo as a shop owner in Yash Raj Films' production Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

Bhaskar, the Kumars and Gareth Gates collectively released the official single for Comic Relief in 2003, which spent three weeks at number 1 and was the second highest selling single of the year.

He appeared as a guest on the BBC’s Top Gear in 2003, setting a time of 1:51.0 around a wet Top Gear test track in a Suzuki Liana, placing him 32nd on the original leader board.

In 2005 Bhaskar was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours List.

As part of the BBC’s series of programmes on the 60th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan, he filmed a BBC documentary series India with Sanjeev Bhaskar with director Deep Sehgal which was broadcast to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Indian Independence in August 2007. According to the BBC it included “an emotional journey” to his father’s ancestral home which is now in Pakistan.

His first book 'India with Sanjeev Bhaskar' based on the documentary series became a Sunday Times bestseller in 2007.

In 2008 he made his musical theatre debut as King Arthur in Spamalot at London's Palace Theatre.

In October 2008 he was featured on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

He wrote and starred in the ITV sitcom Mumbai Calling and the UK tour of the hit American improv show Totally Looped.

On 23 February 2009 Sanjeev was appointed as the University of Sussex's new Chancellor. He was formally installed at the University's summer graduation ceremony on the 22 July 2009.

In March 2010 Sanjeev featured on the BBC Radio 4 comedy show "I've Never Seen Star Wars".

On 23 July 2010 he was guest on the BBC comedy panel game Would I Lie To You?

He also featured in a Channel 4 documentary series called 'The House That Made Me.' This show, produced by Nutopia (Production Company) in 2010, recreated his childhood home and introduced him to the characters of his youth.


The Real McCoy (1991) in various roles
Bollywood or Bust (1994) quiz show, hosted as himself
Captain Butler (1997) as Adeel
We Know Where you Live (1997) as various characters
Goodness Gracious Me (1998) as various roles
The Dance of Shiva (1998) as Sgt. Bakshi
Jonathan Creek (1998) as Doctor in episode “Black Canary”
Notting Hill (1999) as loud man in restaurant
Small Potatoes (1999) as Rick Roy
The Way It Is (2000) as various characters
Inferno (2001) as Jaz
Goodness Gracious Me: Back Where They Came From (2001) as various characters
The Mystic Masseur (2001) as Beharry
The Kumars at No. 42 (2001-2006) as Sanjeev Kumar
Dick Whittington (2002) as the mayor
The Guru (2002) as Rasphal the cook
Dalziel and Pascoe (2002) as Graham Shah in episode “Mens Sana”
Anita and Me (2002) as Mr. Kumar
Comic Relief 2003 (2003) as Sanjeev Kumar
Angell’s Hell (2005) as John Angell
Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee (2005) as Akaash
Chopratown (2005) as Vik Chopra
L’Entente Cordiale (2006) as Commander Bashir
Scoop (2006) as poker player
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) as shopkeeper
India with Sanjeev Bhaskar (2007) as himself
Mumbai Calling (2007) - as Kenny Gupta
Jackboots on Whitehall (2009) - as Rupee (voice)
It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010) - as curry man
The Indian Doctor (2010) - as Prem Sharma


Goodness Gracious Me (1998)
The Kumars at No. 42 (2001-06)
Mumbai Calling (2007-08)


Goodness Gracious Me (1998)
Mumbai Calling Pilot Episode (2007)


Art (2002) Whitehall Theatre, London, as Yvan
Spamalot (2008) Palace Theatre, London, as King Arthur
Totally Looped (2009) UK Tour

Meera Syal
British Comedy

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