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By far the most famous of the stars of Goodness Gracious Me, and upstaging everyone on The Kumars and Number 42, Meera Syal is a gifted and varied writer, actress and comedian.
Syal had already written Bhaji on the Beach and The Real McCoy when she became involved in Goodness Gracious Me. The sketch format reversed all the stereotypes of Indians in the UK and gave the country a new look at its cultural psychology.
GGM featured Syal as various characters, most notably Smeeta Smitten the Showbiz Kitten, and a mother utterly convinced of her son's glory and forever locked in a battle with another mother equally convinced that her own son is better.
The Kumars at Number 42 features Syal playing the outrageous grandmother of husband Sanjeev Baskar's incompetent talkshow host.
Syal has appeared in a huge variety of roles over the last few years, in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The Secretary Who Stole £4 Million, and in her own Anita and Me amongst others.
It's as a novelist and screenwriter of films such as Anita and Me, and Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee that she is most important to Britain's comedy heritage.
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