Meera Syal CBE is a British comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress. She rose to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me and became one of the UK’s best-known Indian personalities portraying Sanjeev’s grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42. She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1997 New Year Honours and in 2003 was listed in The Observer as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama and literature. Syal wrote the screenplay for the 1993 film Bhaji on the Beach, directed by Gurinder Chadha. She was on the team who wrote and performed in the BBC comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me (1996–2001), originally on radio and then on television. She was a scriptwriter on A.R. Rahman and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams. She has also starred in the BBC2 sitcom Beautiful People, Holby Cityas, Minder and the film Mad, Sad & Bad.