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Meera Syal Meera Syal MBE (born Feroza Syal; 27 June 1961) is an Indo-British comedienne, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress. Her current show, starring in Shirley Valentine is transferring to the West End. 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.