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Meera Syal was born in Wolverhampton in 1961. She attended Queen Mary’s High School before studying English and Drama at Manchester University, where she graduated with a first. Syal has established herself as a writer of screenplays, theatre, television and novels as well as being a journalist, comedian and actress.
She has acted in notable plays such as Much Ado About Nothing and Behind the Beautiful Forevers. She has written various scripts and screenplays, including Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Victoria Theatre for Andrew Lloyd Webber and A. R. Rahman, which was based off her original book.
Syal is well known for her role as grandmother Sushila in The Kumars at No. 42, which ran for seven seasons. Syal has appeared in many acclaimed TV series, including Doctor Who, Holby City and Beautiful People. Syal is also a notable writer, winning the Betty Trask Award for her book Anita and Me.
In 2016, Syal played the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Syal starred alongside Richard Madden, Lily James and Derek Jacobi. A year later, she took over the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie from Craig Revel Horwood. More recently, she starred in the West End revival of Noises Off, which transferred from the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre to the Garrick Theatre.