Meera Syal Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

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Nationality: British
Husband: Sanjeev Bhaskar
Age: 61 Years

Meera Syal

Birth nameFeroza Syal
Profession(s)• Actress
• Comedian
• Writer
• Journalist
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 7”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
DebutNovel: Anita and Me (1996)
Cover of the Meera Syal's novel 'Anita and Me'
Awards, Honours, Achievements • Betty Trask Award for her debut novel 'Anita and Me'
• Received MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1997 New Year Honours
• Media Personality of the Year award at the Commission for Racial Equality's annual 'Race in the Media Awards 2000'
• Nazia Hassan Foundation Award 2003
• Listed as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy by 'The Observer' in 2003
• Received the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2015 New Year Honours
Meera Syal receiving CBE from Prince Charles
• Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2017
• BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) fellowship in 2023
Personal Life
Date of Birth27 June 1961 (Tuesday)
Age (as of 2022) 61 Years
BirthplaceWolverhampton, West Midlands, England
Zodiac signCancer
SchoolQueen Mary's High School, Upper Forster St, Walsall WS4 2AE, United Kingdom
College/University• Manchester University, England
• University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
• University of London
• University of Roehampton, London, England
Educational Qualification• BA with a Double First in English and Drama from Manchester University
• MA in Drama and Psychotherapy from the University of Leeds
• Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
• Honorary degree from SOAS, University of London and the University of Roehampton
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/BoyfriendsSanjeev Bhaskar
Marriage DateFirst Marriage- Year, 1989
Second Marriage- Year, 2005
Husband/SpouseFirst Husband- Shekhar Bhatia (m. 1989, div. 2002)
Second Husband- Sanjeev Bhaskar (m. 2005)
Meera Syal with Sanjeev Bhaskar
ChildrenSon- Shaan Bhaskar (from second husband)
Daughter- Chameli Bhatia (from first husband)
Meera Syal with her daughter
ParentsFather- Surinder Syal
Mother- Surrinder Kaur
Meera Syal with her mother
SiblingsBrother- Rajeev Syal (investigative journalist)
Sister- None
Novel'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

Meera Syal

Some Lesser Known Facts About Meera Syal

  • Meera Syal is a British comedian, writer, journalist, and actress, known for her work in British TV shows, films, and theatrical production. She was honoured with the BAFTA fellowship at the Royal Festival Hall on 14 May 2023.
  • She belongs to a family of supporters of the Indian Independence Movement. Her paternal grandfather, Tek Chand Syal, was a communist journalist. Her maternal grandfather, Phuman Singh, participated in march a for freedom in 1924. He was later arrested and spent more than one year in prison. He was also awarded a Freedom Fighters Pension in 1972 for his participation in the Jaito Morcha.
  • Her Indian parents shifted to the United Kingdom from New Delhi before her birth.
  • She was born in Wolverhampton and grew up in a small mining village in England named Essington. Her parents later moved to Bloxwich, West Midlands, England.
  • She joined the Stephen Joseph Studio during her graduation and started her acting and writing career.
  • Syal rose to fame after she performed the one-woman play ‘One of Us’ in 1983 at the Stephen Joseph Studio. She played all fifteen parts in the play. Later, she performed the play at the National Student Drama Festival, where it was selected to be performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. Her performance in the drama was so admired that she was also asked to perform the play at the Royal Court on a three-year contract. She has also worked as a co-writer of the play.
  • Apart from being an actor and writer, Syal is also an occasional singer. In 1988, she sang the song ‘Then He Kissed Me’ along with Rita Wolf and Nazia Hassan.

    Meera Syal (left) with Nazia Hassan (center) and Rita Wolf (right) in the music video 'Then He Kissed Me'

    Meera Syal (left) with Nazia Hassan (centre) and Rita Wolf (right) in the music video ‘Then He Kissed Me’

  • She worked as a screenplay writer for the 1993 British comedy-drama film ‘Bhaji on the Beach,’ which was directed by Gurinder Chadha.
  • In 1996, she worked with the BBC team as a writer and actor for the BBC comedy sketch show ‘Goodness Gracious Me.’ The show was originally aired on the radio channel BBC Radio 4 and ran for almost 2 years (1996-1998). In 1998, the show was telecasted on the TV channel BBC Two and ran for 3 years.

    Meera Syal with Sanjeev Bhaskar in a still from the TV show 'Goodness Gracious Me'

    Meera Syal with Sanjeev Bhaskar in a still from the TV show ‘Goodness Gracious Me’

  • After playing the role of Miss Chauhan in the British film ‘Beautiful Thing’ (1996), she appeared in various films including ‘Sixth Happiness’ (1997), ‘Absolutely Anything’ (2015), ‘Doctor Strange’ (2016), ‘Patrick’ (2018), and ‘The Almond and the Seahorse’ (2022).
  • Syal became a household name after she played the role of Grandmother Sushila in the TV series ‘The Kumars at No. 42,’ on BBC Two. Reportedly, the series was one of the favourite TV series of Queen Elizabeth II.

    Meera Syal (left) in promotional campaign of the TV show 'The Kumars at No. 42'

    Meera Syal (left) in the promotional campaign of the TV show ‘The Kumars at No. 42’

  • In the TV series ‘The Kumars at No. 42,’ Meera Syal played the role of Sanjeev Bhaskar’s grandmother, who later became her real-life husband.
  • The character of Sushila was revived by her in the BBC Radio 4’s show ‘Gossip and Goddesses with Granny Kumar’ in 2021.
  • Some notable TV shows done by Meera Syal include ‘Sean’s Show’ (1993), ‘Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee’ (2005), ‘Murder Investigation Team’ (2005), ‘Holby City’ (2009), ‘The Jury’ (series 2 in 2011), and ‘Roar’ (2022).
  • In 2007, she appeared in the Bollywood film ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom,’ in which she played the role of Satvinder’s mother.
  • She has worked as a voice-over artist for two animated series. She became the voice for an owl in the British animated children’s television series ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ (2010), and in the American animated musical-comedy television series ‘Phineas and Ferb,’ she was the voice for Baljeet’s mother.
  • In 2010, she performed a one-woman show at the Menier Chocolate Factory, in which she played the role of Shirley Valentine. The show was later performed at the Trafalgar Studios. Some other notable stage plays in which Syal has acted include ‘Serious Money’ (1987), ‘Bombay Dreams’ (2004), ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (2012), ‘Annie’ (2017), and ‘Noises Off’ (2019).

    Meera Syal in a still from the stage play 'Annie'

    Meera Syal in a still from the stage play ‘Annie’

  • Apart from English, she has also worked in German and Scottish TV shows and films.
  • Her debut novel ‘Anita and Me’ is a semi-autobiographical novel in which Syal has described her childhood while living in Essington, a small mining village in England. The novel was also used as a text for an English literature examination in various schools and universities in Britain and some other countries.
  • Her novel ‘Anita and Me’ was adapted into a film and stage play. In 2002, it was adapted into a film with the same name in which Syal played the role of Meena’s aunt Shaila. She also wrote the screenplay of the film. In 2015, it was adapted into a stage play which was performed at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and later at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
  • Syal wrote her second novel ‘Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee’ in 1999. In 2005, the novel was adapted into BBC television miniseries with the same name. A German version of the novel was also published in 2003, under the title ‘Sari, Jeans und Chilischoten.’
  • Her third novel titled ‘The House of Hidden Mothers’ was published in 2015. The novel is based on the theme of international surrogacy.
  • Apart from writing for TV and films, she also writes journals for the British newspaper ‘The Guardian.’
  • Meera Syal worked as a visiting professor of Drama for contemporary theatre at St Catherine’s College, Oxford in 2011.
  • In April 2022, she was featured on the cover of ‘The Scotsman Magazine.’

    Meera Syal on the cover of The Scotsman Magazine

    Meera Syal on the cover of The Scotsman Magazine