Goodness Gracious Me - From Writing to Screen

Fri Oct 20 2023 at 06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

B:Music, (formerly Symphony Hall, Birmingham) | Birmingham
Goodness Gracious Me - From Writing to Screen
Join us for an incredible evening and discover what it took to write the ground-breaking hit BBC comedy 'Goodness Gracious Me'.
About this Event

Who can believe it’s been 25 years since we were told to ‘Kiss My Chuddies’, since we were introduced to ‘Surjeetaaaaa,’ ‘Mr Everything Comes From India’, and learnt a guaranteed way to end any debate with, ‘How big is his danda?’ We have never quite looked at an aubergine the same way again! But it takes more than memorable catch phrases to make a hit comedy, especially one that goes on to become an acknowledged TV classic. Actors Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir, alongside actor/writer Sanjeev Kohli, take centre stage this evening. Find out what it was like to be part of this ground-breaking team, how to develop ideas into plans, plans into scripts, then finally see those scripts come to life on screen.

About the speakers

Nina Wadia

Nina Wadia OBE is an award winning actress renowned for her timeless sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, as well as her role as Zainab Masood in BBC One's Eastenders for which she won ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and ‘Best Onscreen Partnership’ at the British Soap Awards. Recent television credits include Netflix series Sandman, based on the Neil Gaiman novels, as well as series 2 of The Hitmen and Stephen Merchant's BBC One/Amazon Prime series, The Outlaws. Nina also starred in Too Close for ITV, Death In Paradise, Channel 4/Hulu series MAXXX, Still Open All Hours with David Jason for BBC One, YouTube Original series Origin, Newark Newark, M**der On The Blackpool Express and BBC's Holby City.

Nina began her career in theatre, and has starred in a variety of productions including the Tony award winning The Vagina Monologues, Macbeth alongside Mark Rylance & Michael Frayn’s Matchbox Theatre at Hampstead Theatre.

On the big screen, Nina's credits include Code 46 with Tim Robbins, Sixth Happiness, Bend It Like Beckham, I Can't Think Straight, Bollywood hit Namaste London, Strangeways Here We Come and Four, currently on Netflix, which she also exec produced. More recently Nina starred opposite Will Smith in Disney favourite Aladdin, A Streetcat Named Bob with Luke Treadaway, and the sequel to the movie, A Gift From Bob. She can also currently be seen in the movies, Repeat, The Stranger in our Bed and Followers.

She has hosted The One Show, The Wright Stuff, Remembrance Day Ceremonies alongside Sir Michael Palin and has been a regular presenter on BBC's Sunday Morning Live.

Nina is soon to be seen in an upcoming series for ITV's new streaming platform, ITVX.

Kulvinder Ghir

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Kulvinder Ghir began as a stand up comic, performing in clubs around the north-east of England. In 1985 he made his first appearance on television as a regular cast member in Howards’ Way (1985-87).

Kulwinder is best known as one of the cast members in the BBC comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me (BBC, 1998-2000), in both its radio and TV incarnation. Amongst the many characters Ghir played were “Chunky Lafunga”, a sexy Bollywood “hero”, the superhero Bhangra Man, and as one half of the “Bhangramuffins” duo (alongside series co-writer Sanjeev Bhaskar).In 1986 he appeared in Rita, Sue and Bob Too (directed by Alan Clarke) and starred in the BBC Screen Two drama Lucky Sunil (tx. 17/4/1988). In 1991 he wrote his first short, Breath of Life (directed by Navin Thappar). He played Aslam in the 1987 Yorkshire-based film Rita, Sue and Bob Too!, alongside Michelle Holmes, Siobhan Finneran and George Costigan.

During the 1990s, Ghir’s career developed steadily, with regular roles in Waterfront Beat (BBC, 1990-91), The Real McCoy (BBC, 1991-94) and At Home With the Braithwaites (ITV, 2000-). Other film credits include Brothers in Trouble (directed by Udayan Prasad, 1995), Flight (directed by Alex Pillai, 1998) and Bend it Like Beckham (directed by Gurinder Chadha, 2002). His play Dusky Warriors premiered at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, London, in 1995.

2003 marked his return to theatre, making his RSC debut in an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children.

He is also known for providing the voice of Ajay Bains in Postman Pat and other animations including Chop Socky Chooks and the 2015 reboot of Bob the Builder.

In 2009, he was in the film 31 North 62 East as Tariq. From September 2009 to May 2011, Ghir was part of the cast of BBC Three comedy series Lunch Monkeys, playing Mohammed Khan, father of Abdullah Afzal’s character. The show lasted two series. In 2013, he appeared as one of the feuding brothers in the UK film, Jadoo. He also appeared in the final episode of British sitcom Big School, as Mr. Rupesh the school bus driver. Since 2013, he has played Cyril in Still Open All Hours. More recently, in 2019, he played the protagonist’s father in Blinded by the Light.

Sanjeev Kholi

Sanjeev Kohli is the co-writer/co-star of award-winning Radio 4 comedy Fags Mags and Bags, has written for sketch shows Chewin’ The Fat and Goodness Gracious Me, has presented extensively on the BBC, and has written and recorded vocals for the musical project The Grand Gestures. He is well-known for playing shopkeeper Navid in Still Game for nine series on the BBC & three sell-out runs at The Glasgow Hydro, and Amandeep Jandhu in River City, but has also appeared in the likes of Cold Feet, Fresh Meat and Look Around You (where he played Synthesiser Patel), as well as being the star of the video for Elbow’s Lost Worker Bee. Sanjeev can currently be seen in the first series of Armando Iannucci’s Avenue 5 - opposite Hugh Laurie - on HBO, Magpie Murders on BBC and Chemistry of Death on Paramount+. He recently shot on feature film Fight or Flight, starring Josh Hartnett.

About your host

Tommy Sandhu

Hailing from the East end of London, Tommy is a born and bred Londoner! At school, Tommy was known for talking A LOT and was always in the school theatre productions as well as local drama plays which allowed him to tour across Europe and even perform in London theatres while he was only a teenager! Tommy went on to graduate from Bournemouth University in Advertising Management and then became President of the Students Union. During this time, Tommy appeared on Blind Date with Cilla Black. Soon after Tommy became the ‘voice of Blind Date’ replacing ‘Our Graham’.

With a passion for music, Tommy’s DJ residencies have seen him play all across the country including top London venues such as China White, Movida, Cafe De Paris, Embassy, The Shadow Lounge and many more. Tommy has also DJ’d at celebrity parties where his dance floor guests have included David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Joan Collins, Noel Gallagher and Jude Law.

The love of playing music grew into a desire to produce it. Tommy set up his own company producing theme music to TV shows. He remixed the theme for Blind Date and other shows on ITV1 which then got him the recognition to produce music for several shows on BBC1, Living, Bravo and Challenge amongst others

As an established voiceover artist Tommy has brought his warm and youthful sound to adverts and commercials across radio and TV as well as prestigious events such as The MOBO Awards. Tommy’s TV presenting has seen him host travel and lifestyle shows where he tests everything from gadgets and gizmo’s to yachts and hotels around the world. You can currently catch Tommy on the telly all around the world with his techy reviews … look out for him as the ‘Gadget Guru’ on Fast:Track on BBC World


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

B:Music, (formerly Symphony Hall, Birmingham), Broad Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom


GBP 10.00

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