Meera Syal’s career as an actor and writer has spanned drama and comedy for both the stage and television.
Her acting career began on the London stage, with seasons at theatres such as the Royal Court and the National Theatre, in award-winning plays such as My Girl, Caryll Churchill’s Serious Money, and Sarah Daniels’ Byrthrite. Television roles soon followed in productions as diverse as Kinsey, Keeping Mum, Bedtime, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, and Jekyll.
She honed her comedy acting skill on the sketch show The Real McCoy and went on to write and act in the BAFTA-winning shows Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No.42. Her screenwriting credits include A Nice Arrangement, the multi-award-winning Bhaji on the Beach and the screen adaptation of her novel Anita and Me. Her novel Life Isn’t All Ha Ha He He was turned into a three-part drama for BBC television, in which Syal also starred.
For the stage she wrote the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams. She also continues to act; last year she was in Rafta Rafta at the National Theatre, and she recently finished filming on Beautiful People, a BBC2 series based on the autobiographical book Nasty by Simon Doonan.
Meera was awarded an MBE in 1997. She won the Media Personality of the Year award at the Race in the Media awards (2000) and the EMMA for Media Personality of the Year (2001). She was recently awarded the Women in Film and TV Creative Achievement Award for her body of work.