Sanjeev Kohli

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Sanjeev Singh Kohli
Born 30 November 1971
London, England
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor
Years active 1990s–present
Spouse(s) Fiona

Sanjeev Singh Kohli (born 30 November 1971[1]) is a Scottish Asian comedian, writer and actor. He is most famous for his role as Navid in the sitcom Still Game and as Ramesh Majhu in the radio sitcom Fags, Mags and Bags. He also played Norrie in BBC Four's Bob Servant Independent.

Early life[edit]

Kohli was born in London to a social worker and a teacher, who had come to the United Kingdom in the 1960s from India.[2] When he was three years old, they moved to Scotland.[3] Kohli's parents could afford to move him, aged six, and his brothers out of state schooling to be educated by the Jesuits at St. Aloysius' College, a Roman Catholic school in central Glasgow. To finance their family through private school, Kohli's parents ran a corner shop.[2]

He went on to Glasgow University to study medicine, but changed course to study Maths,[4] gaining a first-class degree, and subsequently studied for a PhD.[2]

Career[edit]

Kohli starred in Meet the Magoons for Channel 4, co-written by his brother Hardeep, as Surjit Magoon[5] and has appeared in several episodes of the BBC comedy series Look Around You as Synthesiser Patel.[6] He was the former presenter of the BBC's Asian Network and has previously written for Goodness Gracious Me, The Big Breakfast and Chewin' the Fat, which was also written by future Still Game co-stars, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill.

In December 2006, the Sunday Mail revealed that Kohli would be starring in the major ITV thriller, Losing Gemma. Starring alongside Alice Eve, he played "a member of the British High Commission, who helps a young English tourist jailed in Delhi, India".[7] Kohli revealed in 2007 that he would be working on a radio comedy project for BBC Radio 4, entitled Fags, Mags and Bags.[3] The series was broadcast in 2008 and was nominated for a Sony Award.[8] The Daily Record also revealed Kohli would be writing for ITV children's show, My Life as a Popat.[3] Kohli has also starred in BBC Three's Rush Hour as an intolerant taxicab driver,[9] and on the same channel in Phoo Action as a television news presenter.[10]

On August 21, 2007, he presented a show called 10 Things To Hate About The Edinburgh Festival. Kohli also sometimes appears as a pundit on BBC One Scotland's Saturday afternoon Sportscene football programme. Kohli made a brief cameo in a speaking role as himself in an episode of BBC's VideoGaiden, where he received a fish in the mail as a gift from the hosts in an attempt to recreate the Nintendo game Animal Crossing. One of the hosts was Robert Florence, a writer whom Kohli worked with on Chewin' the Fat.[11]

In February 2008, it was announced that he would play the role of God in the video for Glasgow band Attic Lights single 'God' [12]

In 2011, Sanjeev appeared on Scottish tea-time magazine show, The Hour on STV. He co-hosted on two separate weeks (ten episodes), alongside main presenter Michelle McManus.

In 2012, Sanjeev appeaed on the Channel 4 comedy program Fresh Meat as a dentistry lecturer Dr Minaj.

Controversy[edit]

In 2005, Kohli was reprimanded by Glasgow City Council and had his licence to rent out a property in the city suspended for two years due to safety concerns.[13] The Kohli family have a very successful business in property in Scotland.

In January 2007, Kohli commented on the accusations of severe racism on Celebrity Big Brother. He told of an incident in which a former boss called him "Mahatma", in reference to Gandhi.[14]

He also caused controversy when he criticised the comedy output of Scottish radio. In 2008, he said to The Sunday Times that "The stuff on Radio Scotland just now is just woeful, I actually can't listen to it because it's so pedestrian and monochromatic. It just doesn't have any comedy sensibility. So it can be quite crippling to work in comedy here". BBC Radio Scotland head Jeff Zycinski replied to these criticisms by saying "We are committed to launching lots of new comedy over the next year with new writers, performers and producers. The comedy is coming from a wide variety of sources, both independent and in-house. Not all comedy pleases everybody."[15]

Personal life[edit]

Kohli currently lives in Glasgow with his wife, Fiona, and their three children.[2]

He has two elder brothers — Randeep Singh Kohli (born 1966), a senior police officer with the Metropolitan Police in London, and Hardeep Singh Kohli (born 1969), who is also a journalist and broadcaster.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983
  2. ^ a b c d e McFerran, Ann (2007-08-26). "Relative Values: Hardeep Singh Kohli and his brother Sanjeev". London: The Times. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b c English, Paul (2007-04-09). "TILL GAME". Daily Record (Scotland). Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Maths graduation". 
  5. ^ "Meet the Magoons". British Sitcom Guide. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  6. ^ "Look Around You". BBC Press Office. 2005-01-11. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Sunday Mail". NAVID'S GAME FOR NEW TV ROLE. Retrieved December 18, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Sony Radio Academy awards 2008 nomination". London: The Guardian. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  9. ^ "Rush Hour". BBC Online. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Still Game Sanjeev To Be TV Newsreader". Daily Record (Scotland). 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-10. [dead link]
  11. ^ "YouTube". videoGaiden: Rab and Ryan Go Animal Crossing. Retrieved August 31, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Sanjeev Kohli's New Role As God". Daily Record. Retrieved 2008-02-26. [dead link]
  13. ^ . "Navid the landlord falls foul of council". The Scotsman. September 3, 2005. 
  14. ^ "Daily Record". DON'T REVEL IN RACISM. Retrieved February 9, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Scottish radio comedy is 'woeful'". Chortle. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 

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