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The Kumars at No. 42
Bringing friends home to meet the family is always a worry.
...but when the "friends" include Jerry Hall, Melvyn Bragg, Donnie Osmond and Stephen Fry and your family includes overprotective mother Madhuri, pompous paterfamilias Ashwin and mischief-making, lustpot grandma Sushila it's a total nightmare.
The Kumars was an indirect spin-off from Goodness, Gracious Me devised by its star Sanjeev Bhaskar, along with partner Meera Syal and executive producer Anil Gupta, as a way of adding life to the increasingly tired chat-show by placing it in the heart of a family sitcom.
Unfortunately, the Kumars refuse to leave Sanjeev to his task, with the result that guests found themselves having to field his questions while at the same time fending off vast plates of pakoras from mum, "good advice" from dad and (in the case of the male guests) forceful sexual advances from granny.
A mix of sitcom, scripted chat, genuine interview and occasional improvisation (particularly from Syal who played her role with obvious relish), on paper the Kumars should never have worked. Luckily it was played out in a studio, rather than on paper, and was an immediate success.
The format also spawned several adaptations overseas, including Greeks on the Roof in Australia, The Ortegas on Fox in the US, Ghaffar at Doraji in Pakistan and Batiwalla House No 43 in India.
Without the creators of the original format, however, many of these series proved very short-lived, though repeats of the original are still shown across the globe.
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