Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Meera Syal & Sanjeev Bhaskar and Milli Bhatia


MEERA SYAL and her husband Sanjeev Bhaskar made their career out of breaking glass ceilings in the British entertainment industry and they continue to shatter stereotypes with their work. The couple, who has spent years on British screens, is redefining ageing with their challenging roles in critically acclaimed TV dramas Mrs Sidhu Investigates and Unforgotten, where they both played detectives. At 61, Syal landed the lead character ‘Mrs Sidhu’ who is a caterer with a taste for solving mysteries in the detective series, while 60-year-old Bhasker returned fit and fine to play the role of DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan in the fifth season of ITV’s crime drama Unforgotten. One of the best-known British Asian couples, the pair was honoured with Sophiya Haque Award for Services to British Television, Film and Theatre Award at the 2023 Asian Media Awards. The award is named in tribute to the late Coronation Street and stage actress, who died of cancer aged 41 in 2013. Syal and Bhaskar first crossed paths on the set of the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, but they became closer during the promotion of The Kumars at Number 42, a spoof chat show they co-created in 2001.

The show ran for seven series totalling 53 episodes, winning an International Emmy in 2002 and 2003, as well as a Peabody Award in 2004. The couple also played husband and wife on-screen in the 2019 musical romantic comedy Yesterday. Syal is a multi-Emmy Award-winning British actress, comedian, and writer with numerous television and film credits, including Absolutely Fabulous, Paddington 2, Beautiful People, Doctor Who, The Sandman and Doctor Strange. She has authored Anita and Me (1996), Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee (1999) and The House of Hidden Mothers (2015). Her semi-autobiographical novel Anita and Me was adapted for a

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