Meera Syal MBE (born Feroza Syal June 27, 1961 in Essington, near Wolverhampton) is a British Indian comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist and actress. She was born in Wolverhampton and grew up in Essington, a mining village a few miles to the north. She attended Queen Mary's High School in nearby Walsall, and is perhaps the school's most famous alumna. Her Punjabi-born parents came to Britain from New Delhi, and she has risen to prominence as one of the most UK's most well known Indian personalities.
Syal won the National Student Drama Award for writing One of Us while studying English and Drama at Manchester University. She spent seven years working for the Royal Court Theatre and won the Betty Trask Award for her first book Anita and Me and the Media Personality of the Year award at the Commission for Racial Equality's annual Race in the Media awards in 2000. She was awarded the MBE in 1997. She wrote the screenplay for the 1993 film Bhaji on the Beach. In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy.
As a journalist she writes occasionally for The Guardian. She scored a number one record with Gareth Gates and her co-stars from The Kumars at No. 42 with "Spirit In The Sky", the Comic Relief single.
In June 2003 she appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme with a selection of music by Nitin Sawhney, Madan Bala Sindhu, Joni Mitchell, Pizzicato Five, Sukhwinder Singh, Louis Armstrong and others. The luxury which she chose to ease her life as a castaway was a piano. 
Syal was appointed an MBE in the 1997 New Year's Honours List.
In 2004, she took part in the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? which looked into the family histories of various well-known personalities. Syal was surprised to discover both her grandfathers had actively campaigned against British rule in India: one was a communist journalist and the other named a Punjab Martyr in the Golden Temple having been imprisoned and tortured after protesting.
In January 2005, Syal married her frequent collaborator, Sanjeev Bhaskar, who plays her grandson in The Kumars At No. 42; the marriage took place in Lichfield, Staffordshire. Their baby, a boy, was born at the Portland Hospital on 2 December 2005. She has a daughter, Chameli, from her first marriage to journalist Shekhar Bhatia, which ended in 2002.
The book Anita and Me has found its way onto school and university English syllabuses both in Britain and abroad. Scholarly literature includes: