Speaker / Host
Meera Syal is the acclaimed BAFTA nominated actor, screenwriter and author. Arguably best known for her performances in in the long-running BBC series Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, Meera was described by the Observer as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy. As well as being a hugely popular events and awards host, Meera is also a much-loved after-dinner speaker and can add a sharp-witted insight into women’s and cultural events too.
About Meera Syal
Meera Syal is West Midlands born, and grew up in a small Black Country mining community. After her parents emigrated from New Delhi in 1960, Meera’s childhood was defined by being “The Only Asians in the Village.” This experience subsequently became the backdrop to her first novel, Anita and Me, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and was adapted by Meera into a screenplay for a BBC film of the novel.
Meera Syal is a well-recognised star of the big screen, featuring in films such as family favourite Paddington 2, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and Danny Boyle’s 2019 musical romcom Yesterday.
Also a popular face on stage, Meera’s many theatre credits include Beatrice in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing, The Nurse in Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo & Juliet and, most recently, Dotty in the West End transfer of Noises Off. She also played the iconic role of Shirley Valentine in the West End, for which she was awarded the WhatsonStage Solo Performance award.
Outside of acting, Meera has written several novels including Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, and the semi-autobiographical Anita & Me, which won a Betty Trask Award and was later adapted into a film starring Meera herself.
In 2015, Meera was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to drama and literature and, in 2017, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 2022 saw Meera star in the Amazon thriller series, The Devil’s Hour, and in the new series of Sky’s comedy drama Code 404. She also led the successful Apple anthology series Roar.