Meera Syal's rock star TV career

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 26 June 2012
Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal

Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar

Meera Syal says starring in hit BBC2 comedy show 'Goodness Gracious Me' made her feel like a rock star and "never expected" the success it would have

Meera Syal says starring in 'Goodness Gracious Me' made her feel like a rock star.

The comedienne - who met her husband Sanjeev Bhaskar on the set of the popular sketch show - has admitted she "never expected" the scale of success the BBC2 programme would have and claims playing sold-out arena tours made her feel like a rock star.

She told Reader's Digest magazine: "I'd been working on sketch show 'The Real McCoy' with a script editor, Anil Gupta, and an actor, Kulvinder Ghir. They'd grown up at the same time as me, seeing all the absurd, funny things about being an immigrant, but without anyone to share it with.

"We got talking about how we could do a version of 'The Real McCoy' based on British-Asian humour. So Anil brought in a few others - including Sanjeev Bhaskar - and we were commissioned, first for radio, and then BBC2.

"But I never expected the scale of its success. The highlight was when we went on tour in 1998. We were playing massive stadiums, and people treated us like rock stars."

The show ran from 1996 to 1998 on radio and was then televised until 2001.

Meera - who has six-year-old Shaan with Sanjeev and 19-year-old Chameli from a previous relationship - was astonished by the positive reaction and impact the jokes about Asian culture had on the general public.

She explained: "Our audiences were mixed black, white and Asian people... I thought, 'This is amazing'.

"For years, we were the butt of all the jokes. Now people wanted to know about our culture. That was a huge turning point."

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