Goodness Gracious Me is the U.K.’s first all Asian television sketch show, and sends up British culture, Asian culture and everything in between. The series began on radio where it won the Sony Award for Best Radio Comedy. When it transferred to TV in 1998, its mass appeal to people of all ages and all cultures resulted in the show going from strength to strength, receiving universal praise and winning several prestigious awards including Best Comedy Series (British Comedy Awards), Best TV Entertainment Production (BT Emma Awards) and Team Award (Television Society Awards), as well as International Emmy and Golden Rose of Montreux nominations.
Starring Meera Syal (All About Me, The Kumars), Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars at No 42), Nina Wadia (Perfect World, Chambers), and Kulvinder Ghir (Bend It Like Beckham), the format of Goodness Gracious Me is a succession of popular characters, spoofs and sketches performed by the regular team. There are some startling remakes of silver screen classics, not to mention Asian versions of TV shows such as Charlie’s Angels and Teletubbies, a makeover for many hit songs and an unusual travelogue of Britain seen through the eyes of some Asian gap-year students.
Episode 1 in the first season of Goodness Gracious Me introduces viewers to Dennis and Charlotte Cooper (spelt Dinesh and Sashi Kapoor), and their friends Surjit and Veena Rabindranath (St John and Vanessa Robinson), social climbers so determined to be thought English they despise everything Asian. Join the young Bombayites who “go for an English” in search of the blandest thing on the menu, and the tactless Mr Cheque Please, who doesn’t have a way with the ladies. An English executive discovers that he will never get on in his new Asian company unless he simplifies his complicated name – Jonathan. The Calcutta male choir perform their own special version of Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. There is a remake of the film Brief Encounter, in which a couple’s emotional farewell at Jodphur Train Station is constantly interrupted by noisy vendors. The Bhangramuffins then end the first show with a rap attack.
The reunion special, Goodness Gracious Me: Reunion Special features all-new material including how you can tell Sherlock Holmes comes from India, some very competitive grandmothers, and a surprisingly high-tech use for an aubergine. It also offers some unusually hard-hitting legal advice, a very scary nanny, and the heart-breaking denouement of the black-and-white movie classic Madrasablanca.
For more new comedy programming satirising business owners, Hollywood husbands and cops, audiences are invited to tune in to Comedy Central’s original mock-reality shows every Wednesday and Thursday beginning 12 August at 8.30pm (TH/WIB), 9.30pm (HK/PH/SG/TW), and 10.30pm (MY). Shows include the premieres of new seasons of sketch comedy series Key & Peele, semi-scripted reality series Real Husbands of Hollywood, business marketing comedy series Nathan For You and cop parody series RENO 911.