Meera Syal CBE (1963– ) is a British-Asian writer, comedienne, actor and producer. Meera (Feroza) Syal was born in Essington in the West Midlands, where as a child, her Punjabi family were the only Asians living in the small mining village. She attended Queen Mary’s High School in Walsall and then studied English and Drama at Manchester University, graduating with a Double First. She won the National Student Drama Award for her performance in the play One of Us (1983), co-written with Jackie Shapiro. In a long career in which she has been a pioneer as a writer, comedienne, actor and producer, she first came to public attention when she starred in and was co-writer of My Sister Wife (1992), a three-part BBC Television series. This led to writing the screenplay for the 1993 film Bhaji on the Beach, directed by Gurinder Chadha, which was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Film.
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