SANJEEV Bhaskar has returned to our screens in the Bafta-nominated ITV crime drama Unforgotten as DI Sunny Khan.
Here’s what you need to know about the actor who’s also starred in Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No.42.
Who is Sanjeev Bhaskar? What was his early career?
Londoner Sanjeev was born 31 October 1963 in Ealing and is a British comedian, actor and broadcaster.
Before he ventured out into the limelight Sanjeev earned a degree in marketing from Hatfield Polytechnic before landing a job as a marketing executive at IBM.
He soon realised that he preferred the stage and joined forces with an old college friend, Nitin Sawhney, to start a musical comedy double act called “The Secret Indians (non-Asian)”.
What is Sanjeev Bhaskar best known for?
Goodness Gracious Me
Sanjeev played one of the main characters in the comedy sketch show – which originally aired on BBC Radio 4 from 1996 to 1998 and later televised on BBC Two from 1998 to 2001.
Sanjeev was joined by fellow cast members Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Syal and Nina Wadia.
The show explored the conflict and integration between traditional Indian culture and modern British life.
Some sketches reversed the roles to view the British from an Indian perspective, and others poked fun at Indian stereotypes.
Goodness Gracious Me won Best Entertainment at the Broadcasting Press Guild Award and the Team Award from the Royal Television Society, UK in 1999.
The Kumars at No. 42
The Kumars at No. 42 was about a fictional British Indian family, including Madhuri and Ashwin Kumar (played by Indira Joshi and Vincent Ebrahim), their adult son Sanjeev (played by Sanjeev), and Sushila, Sanjeev’s grandmother, normally referred to as Ummi (played by Meera Syal).
The family lived in Wembley and the show’s central premise was that Sanjeev’s parents supported his dream of being a television presenter by having a TV studio built on what used to be their back garden.
Running gags include Sanjeev’s apparent social ineptitude, Ashwin’s obsession with financial matters and his tendency to tell long stories with no real point, and Ummi’s stories of her absurd exploits with her childhood friend Saraswati the bicycle (so named because of her contortionist skills).
The show was so popular that it even saw the cast doing a Comic Relief single Spirit In the Sky with Gareth Gates.