Sanjeev Bhaskar

Born: 31 October 1963 (58 years old)
Gender: Male



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Sanjeev Bhaskar, OBE is an English comedian, actor and broadcaster best known for his work in the BBC Two comedy series Goodness Gracious Me (1998-2000) and as host of The Kumars at No. 42, from 2001-2006.

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

Growing up in Ealing, west London in the socially turbulent 1970s, Bhaskar learned from an early age that humour and impressions could be used as a shield from confrontation.

His comedy ambitions blossomed while studying for a marketing degree and, encouraged by friend and musician Nitin Sawnhey, Bhaskar realised nobody was writing from the experience of being British and Asian.

Together the pair started gigging as stand-up double act Secret Asians and were eventually spotted by producer Anil Gupta, while performing in a show called Secret Asians, who invited Bhaskar to join his team for a new Asian sketch series: Goodness Gracious Me.

Sanjeev had already completed a marketing degree and was working for IBM while writing and performing in his spare time. Gupta asked Sanjeev to join the team working on his new idea for an Asian sketch show.

Goodness Gracious Me began life as a radio show and was broadcast on Radio 4 in 1996. Starring Sanjeev, Meera Syal, Kulvinder Ghir and Nina Wadia, the show was a hit and, by 1998, it had crossed over to BBC2. Goodness Gracious Me ran to three seasons and played to sell-out audiences on tour.

Sanjeev followed up this success with his solo venture, The Kumars at No. 42. He wrote the show and played the role of Sanjeev Kumar, who tries to host and broadcast a celebrity chat show from his parents' living room.

Sanjeev can also be seen in the feature films Anita and Me, The Guru, The Mystic Masseur and Notting Hill, among others.

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.

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

Later in 2010 he began starring in the period comedy-drama television series The Indian Doctor as the title character, Dr. Prem Sharma, a high flying Delhi graduate who arrives in the UK in 1963 as part of the first wave of Indian doctors wooed by the then health minister Enoch Powell.

In 2012 he had a guest starring role in the television series Silent Witness.

He is married to his Kumars at No. 42 co-star Meera Syal.


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