Preeya Kalidas

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Preeya Kalidas
Preeya Kalidas at The Asian Awards.jpg
Kalidas at The Asian Awards in 2014
Born (1980-06-21) 21 June 1980 (age 42)
Isleworth, London, England
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1996–present

Preeya Kalidas (born 21 June 1980)[1] is a British singer and actress. She played Amira Masood in the soap opera EastEnders, from 2009 to 2012. She released the single "Shimmy" in July 2010, taken from her proposed debut album (I'm Over It) Constant Craving; however, the album was never released.

Early life[edit]

Preeya Kalidas was born to Indian Gujarati parents in Isleworth,[1] and was raised in Twickenham, South-West London.[2] Her father is an independent financial adviser, and her mother works for British Airways.[3] She started ballet classes at the age of three, and tap at five. She then trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. She also trained at Songtime Theatre Arts.[4]



Kalidas first appeared on screen in the drama Googleyes. She went on to play Usha in a short film called Jump Boy in 1998, directed by Menhaj Huda and written by Harsha Patel. After a number of parts in films and on television, including East is East, Bollywood Queen, My Family and Casualty, in 2002 she appeared as Monica in Gurinder Chadha's film Bend It Like Beckham. She then played the female lead Priya in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-produced show Bombay Dreams, written by A.R. Rahman, Meera Syal and Don Black.[5] She also appeared in the BBC Television series Bodies as Dr. Maya Dutta.

In 2007, Kalidas landed the female lead in a West End revival of Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Appearing as the narrator, she performed with Lee Mead, who won the title role of Joseph in BBC One's Any Dream Will Do talent search series.[6][7] The same year, she appeared in the multi-award-winning Channel 4 miniseries Britz. In 2009, Kalidas appeared in the second series of BBC One's Mistresses, and joined EastEnders in April of that year as Amira Shah, the girlfriend, and later wife of Syed Masood.[8] In January 2010, she decided to quit EastEnders to pursue a pop career. Her final episode was broadcast on 26 April 2010. In July 2011, Kalidas revealed that she would be returning to EastEnders in the latter part of 2011.[9] Kalidas, then left the show in March 2012. In September 2012, it was announced that Kalidas was returning to EastEnders briefly to conclude with the departures of Marc Elliott and John Partridge who play Syed Masood and Christian Clarke respectively.

Kalidas appeared in Hotel Babylon as Aisha Chaudhri, the daughter of a rich Indian hotel owner. She also appeared in the music video "Love Is Blind" by Ramzi featuring Ash King. In December 2009, she played the part of Leanne in ITV comedy drama Mister Eleven. She starred in the 2010 Chris Morris feature film Four Lions playing Sofia, the wife of protagonist Omar (played by Riz Ahmed). The film was released on 7 May.

After leaving EastEnders, Kalidas began to pursue a career in music, signing a record deal with Universal Records. Her second single, "Shimmy", featuring Mumzy Stranger, was released on 26 July 2010. Kalidas appeared on several programmes including the National Lottery Results and Loose Women in promotion of the single.[10] The single received mixed reviews.[11] Ruth Harrison from FemaleFirst stated that she "liked the single" but was not keen on the genre of music.[12]

Kalidas stated in an interview with Digital Spy that her album would consist of a variety of genres.[13] She also confirmed that the album would include collaborations with Bashy, Skepta, Schorcer, Ramzi and Mumzy Stranger.[14] Kalidas' collaboration with Skepta, "Cross My Heart", was released in October 2010 as the lead single from Skepta's second studio album, Doin' It Again, however, at the time of release, Kalidas firmly stated its inclusion on her debut album.[15]


In 2011, it was announced that due to poor sales of "Shimmy", Kalidas would no longer be releasing an album with Universal Records. In the same month Kalidas was awarded the Best Female Act award at the UK Asian Music Awards, where she performed a new song, "I Like You", alongside "Shimmy" and her collaboration with Skepta, "Cross My Heart".[16] In July 2011, Kalidas signed a new record deal with All Around The World. In September 2011, Kalidas' second single, "It's A Problem", premiered on YouTube. The single features vocals from rapper Scorcher, who had previously been rumoured to appear on the album.[17] The music video for "It's A Problem" premiered on 3 October 2011. The digital package of the single was released on 10 October, containing "I Like You", as well as a further new song, "Dirty Kissin'". Kalidas announced the album's third single, "A Woman Scorn" during an interview on Lorraine in November 2011. However it was never released. In June 2012, Kalidas eventually released her third single titled; "Love Between Us" which featured British producer, DaVinChe, on backing vocals.

In March 2014, Kalidas released the single "Don't Give Up" was working towards release of her debut studio album in 2015. In April 2014 she released a new single called "Can't Live Without You". Both singles will appear on the album. She has also covered a variety of tracks including Beyoncé's track "Blue".

In June 2015, Kalidas began playing the role of Pinky, in the new West End musical Bend It Like Beckham. She previously played the role of Monica in the film version. In 2019, it was announced that she would play the role of Miss Hedge in the hit musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie from 19 November.[18][19]

In 2018, Kalidas co-hosted the Brit Asia TV Music Awards with Apache Indian.[20]



Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2002 "Shakalaka Baby" 38 Bombay Dreams OST
2010 "Shimmy"(featuring Mumzy Stranger) 85 Constant Craving
2011 "It's a Problem"(featuring Scorcher)
2012 "Love Between Us" 197

Featured singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2010 "Fantasy" (Bashy featuring Preeya Kalidas) 88 The Great Escape
"Cross My Heart" (Skepta featuring Preeya Kalidas) 31 Doin' It Again



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Doctors Safiya Ranjit
2001 Metrosexuality Flora
2001 The Bill Nadia
2001 My Family Miranda
2001 Casualty Sherilyn Tilson
2003 Bedtime Mumtaz
2004 England Expects Assma
2004 Bodies Maya Dutta
2005 Broken News Anita Ratchathani
2006 Green Wing Newsagent
2007 Britz Shaz
2009 Mistresses Carrie
2009 Hotel Babylon Aisha Chaudhri
2009 Mister Eleven Leanne
2009–2012 EastEnders Amira Masood Regular role
2013 Bollywood Carmen Live Carmen
2014 Casualty Sonja Egan
2016 New Blood Lucy


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Virtual Sexuality Charlotte
1999 East Is East Nazir's Bride
2002 Bend It Like Beckham Monica
2003 Bollywood Queen Geena
2004 Bombay Dreams Priya
2010 It's a Wonderful Afterlife Karishma
2010 Four Lions Sofia

Awards and nominations[edit]


Awards Year Category Result Production Role
British Soap Awards 2010 Sexiest Female Nominated EastEnders Amira Masood
2012 Sexiest Female Shortlisted
Inside Soap Awards 2009 Best Family (for Masood family) Longlisted
2010 Best Wedding (with Marc Elliott) Won
All About Soap Awards 2010 Bride and Doom Nominated


Year Awards Category Result
2011 UK Asian Music Awards[21] Best Female Act Won
Brit Asia TV Music Awards[22] Best Female Act Won
2012 UK Asian Music Awards[23] Best Female Act Won


Year Awards Category Work Result
2016 Laurence Olivier Award[24] Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Bend It Like Beckham Nominated


  1. ^ a b "20 Questions With ... Preeya Kalidas – - Interviews". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  2. ^ The Telegraph
  3. ^ London Evening Standard
  4. ^ Paul, Fleckney (24 January 2008). "It's Smokin'". Epsom Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  5. ^ "London – Entertainment – Theatre – Bombay Dreams, a review". BBC. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  6. ^ Hemley, Matthew (20 June 2007). "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas". The Stage. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  7. ^ "From Bombay Dreams to Joseph's Dreamcoat - Theatre & Dance - Arts - London Evening Standard". Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Talking Shop: Preeya Kalidas". BBC News. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  9. ^ Jefferies, Mark (10 July 2011). "Former Eastenders star Preeya Kalidas returns to Albert Square". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  10. ^ Bourne, Dianne (7 July 2010). "Former soapstar tunes in for new career". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  11. ^ "Single Review: Preeya – Shimmy". Newsround. BBC. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  12. ^ Harrison, Ruth (22 July 2010). "Single Review: Preeya – Shimmy". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Preeya Kalidas promises "varied" album". Digital Spy. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Preeya joins Ronnie Herel in studio". RnB with Ronnie Herel. 26 July 2010. BBC. BBC Radio 1Xtra.
  15. ^ Skepta and Preeya – Cross My Heart – It Will be Huge Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Singer Jackson tops album chart". BBC News. BBC. 23 November 2003. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  18. ^ "West End's Bend It Like Beckham Musical Casts Its Complete Team". Playbill. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  19. ^ "EastEnders' Preeya Kalidas to star in Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical". Reveal Magazine. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  20. ^ Anusha, Nava (11 October 2018). "BritAsia TV Music Awards 2018 Winners". Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  21. ^ Jas Sembhi (10 March 2011). "2011 UK Asian Music Awards Winners". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  22. ^ "Brit Asia TV Music Awards 2011 "AND THE WINNERS ARE..."". 3 October 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  23. ^ "Lebara Mobile UK Asian Music Awards (UKAMA 2012) Results". 25 October 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Olivier Winners 2016". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 February 2021.

External links[edit]