Originally from Kerala, Anuradha Menon grew up in Chennai. Her parents Mini and Mohan Menon worked in the advertising industry. Anuradha Menon started taking part in theatre productions in school. She was associated with The Madras Players for some years. In 2000, she played Shubra in Madras Players' Lizard Waltz (written by Chetan Shah and directed by Bhagirathi Narayanan). She also studied theatre at a school in London for one year, London school of drama. Then, she moved to Mumbai as it was the hub of English theatre in India.
It was in Mumbai that she got her break into Indian theatre. She acted as a governess in Divya Palat's "The Verdict." In this she was required to act with a heavy Malayali accent and this is what landed her the "Lola Kutty" role in Television. In 2004, while auditioning for a producer, she was spotted by VJ Gaurav of Channel [V]. Gaurav immediately recommended her to Channel [V], where she became popular as "Lola Kutty".
After she became famous as Lola Kutty, Anuradha Menon also got some film offers, but she considers theatre as her priority. She has performed in many notable plays including Zen Katha and Sammy! (both directed by Lillete Dubey). In the two-act award-winning play Sammy!, she played an ensemble of roles, including Sarojini Naidu. In Only Women (directed by Deesh Mariwala), she played a nurse called Jasmine. The play deals with Jasmine's impending engagement and how it affects her swings in moods, one of which leads to fatal error in the profession, and how things are sorted out.
Lola Kutty is a VJ on Channel[V]. Described as "the Channel [V] resident beauty on duty", she is actually an alter ego of Anuradha Menon. Anuradha Menon appears in many of her public dealings as Lola Kutty. When invited for an interview with Pooja Bedi on zOOm with Mona Singh (Jassi of Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin), she appeared as "Lola Kutty", unlike Mona Singh (who appeared as her off-screen self).
Lola Kutty is a bespectacled Keralite lady who speaks English with a heavy Malayali accent. Unlike other VJs, she has curly oily hair sporting a gajra and wears silk saris. Unlike Jassi of Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, Lola has no plans for a makeover. She is a huge fan of Abhishek Bachchan. Her assistant is Shiny Alex, who wears fluorescent shirts, matching slippers, and mundu folded up.
In her show Celebrity Forum/Lola TV, Lola Kutty plays interviewer to celebrities esp. Bollywood personalities. Lola's shows don't involve vulgar, corny or spicy humor; rather, they rely on witty asides and straight-faced questions for humor.
In 2006, a Limited Edition Deluxe Official 2006 Notebook Chronicle of Lola— the VJ, the Woman and the Wisecrack was released. The Notebook features various facets of Lola—modelling her "LolaWay products", giving gyaan (knowledge) and discussing movies. The first edition received a very good response. Lola Kutty has also worked as agony aunt for The Record Music Magazine.
In real life (i.e. aside from her Lola Kutty alter ego), she speaks English with a tinge of UK accent. She is fluent in her mother-tongue, Malayalam, as well.
Awards and nominations
Lola TV won three Golds and one Silver at the PROMAX & BDA India Awards
- Gold - Best comedy Promo (Lola TV)
- Gold - Funniest Spot (Lola TV)
- Gold - Best On-Air Branding (Lola - Matchbox ID/Lola TV/Lola Kutty)
- Silver - Best Entertainment Promo (Lola TV Promo)
At The Indian Telly Awards 2006, Lola Kutty was nominated for "Best Anchor Award - Talk Show" for Lola T[v].
Lola's character was criticized by some for being offensive to Malayali people. However, in an interview, Anuradha Menon asserted that "Lola is funny as a person, not as a region". She has also stated that, as a Keralite herself, she was in no way insulting her own people, but only using the peculiar accent for the entertainment of her viewers: "Earlier in Mumbai, anyone from the south was called a Madrasi, and I wanted to change that. Though in a very distinct way, I have pointed out the existence of a state called Kerala on the map of India!". She also said "Lola is special, for I've created the character and it's quite touching when people love you in the role and appreciate you for it, and the self-deprecatory humour is so much".
- "Rationalism vs mysticism". 1 December 2000. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Zen and the art of storytelling". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "From Kutty's Kitty". 8 April 2005. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "In all seriousness". 20 August 2005. Archived from the original on 1 December 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Piercing the veil". 24 July 2006. Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "New shows on Channel [v]: Lola TV". Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "My Money : 'Lola Kutty', VJ". 29 December 2005. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "The show must go on, off-screen too". The Times of India. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Lola Kutty: Beauty on Duty". Archived from the original on 20 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Fun, Lola, fun". 21 February 2005. Archived from the original on 11 December 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "'Zimbly' Lola". 28 May 2005. Archived from the original on 3 June 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Now, she's an open book!". Deccan Herald. 10 February 2006. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "In festive spirit". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 September 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Lola Kutty: Love, Life & Lola". Archived from the original on 20 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- "Lola speak: Lola Kutty now hits the road". Chennai, India: Deccan Herald. 10 February 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- ""Channel [V] should pay me more!" - Lola Kutty". 18 May 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2006.[permanent dead link]
- "NDTV Sweeps the Television Awards of 2006". The Times of India. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.[permanent dead link]