Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


A A Dhand


AA DHAND is making history as the first British Asian crime writer whose novel is being turned into a six-part TV series by the BBC. And, unusually, the Yorkshire born and bred author has insisted on writing the screenplay himself so that no one “messes” with his story. The drama is called Virdee, after its rough diamond protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Hardeep Virdee, who prefers to be known as “Harry” Virdee. The character of Virdee is to be played by Sacha Dhawan.

Virdee, set in the dark and mean streets of Bradford, is going to be very different from Endeavour or Inspector Morse. “It’s our time and it is well overdue,” Dhand declared defiantly. He hopes he will inspire a new generation of writers: “There are very few south Asian screen writers working in this industry and my objective with Virdee is to encourage others to try their hands at screen writing, producing and creating innovative content which smashes cliched stereotypes.” The first “A” in his initials is for Amit. What the second “A” stands for he wants to keep to himself. “The reason I call myself AA Dhand is because I don’t want people to assume I am writing about arranged marriages or community cohesion,” he explained. “If I walked into a bookshop where there were zero Asian crime writers, the immediate default is going to be ‘arranged marriage, terrorism, racism, community’. It’s my own unconscious bias but unconscious bias is a strong thing. Let’s go with AA Dhand.”

The BBC have not gone for the first two of Dhand’s novels in the Virdee chronicles, Streets of Darkness and Girl Zero, which came out in 2016 and 2017, but the third, City of Sinners, which was published a year later. In Eastern Eye’s Arts Culture & Theatre Awards (ACTA)

To continue reading, please register

Already register? Login