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Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar in conversation with Professor Linda Williams and Mark Kermode

Acclaimed actors and writers Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal will discuss their careers on stage and screen at a University of Exeter event this month.

The stage and screen performers have starred in and penned much-loved films and television programmes including Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at Number 42.

They will be in conversation with the University of Exeter film expert Professor Linda Ruth Williams and film critic Mark Kermode for the online discussion, held as part of the Creative Dialogues series of events showcasing a range of high-profile speakers who are leaders in their respective fields across the creative industries and humanities.

The event will take place on 16th March 2022 at 6.30pm.

Creative Dialogue events provide a rare opportunity to join internationally renowned professionals in person and learn first-hand about their colourful careers and life works. They are presented by the College of Humanities and are a part of the University of Exeter’s Arts and Culture Strategy.

Meera Syal CBE is a multi-Emmy Award-winning British actress, comedian and writer. She started her career in renowned theatre productions including the Royal Shakespeare Company's Much Ado About Nothing, David Hare’s Behind The Beautiful Forevers and Kenneth Branagh’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

Her television credits as a writer and performer include The Split, Broadchurch, Back To Life and Sky’s Code 404. She will next be seen in the upcoming new Amazon series, The Devil’s Hour and will also lead the new AppleTV show Roar.

Meera’s film credits include Yesterday, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Paddington 2 ,Doctor Strange, Beautiful Thing, Absolutely Anything, and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Meera’s first novel, Anita And Me, won the Betty Trask Award and is the first novel by a British Asian writer to be included on the national school's curriculum. She has written two other critically acclaimed novels, Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee and The House Of Hidden Mothers. Meera holds honorary doctorates at the University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham and SOAS, and was also previously a Visiting Professor for Theatre at St Catherine’s, Oxford University.

Her credits as a screenwriter include the popular films Bhaji On The Beach, Anita And Me and My Sister Wife, for which she won two Asian Film Awards (AFA), for her screenplay and performance. Meera has also been a recipient of the Women In Film And Television Award for Creative Innovation.

Sanjeev Bhaskar is an actor, writer and presenter.  He’s also appeared in The Indian Doctor and is about to start filming the fifth series of the drama Unforgotten. His book India with Sanjeev Bhaskar, based on his BBC documentary series of the same name was a Sunday Times bestseller.

Sanjeev has appeared on the West End stage in ART and as King Arthur in the Monty Python musical SPAMALOT, and acted in films including Notting Hill, Arthur Christmas, The Zero Theorem, Paddington 2 and Yesterday. He is also the current chancellor of the University of Sussex and says his personal claim to fame is adding the word ‘chuddies’ to the OED.

Linda Ruth Williams is a Professor of Film in the Department of English and Film at the University of Exeter. She is part of the major AHRC funded research project, Calling the Shots: Women and Contemporary Film Culture in the UK, 2000-2015, investigating the work of women in the UK film and tv industries this century.

Mark Kermode, Honorary Professor in film studies at the University of Exeter, is Chief Film Critic for the Observer and on the BBC News Channel Film Review. He hosts his own podcast Kermode On Film and has a soundtrack movie soundtrack show on Scala radio. He co-hosts Kermode & Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live, presents Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema on BBC2 and a has a monthly live show at the BFI Southbank, Mark Kermode Live in 3D.

Register for the free event here

Date: 7 March 2022

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