The Cambridge Geek

Gossip and Goddesses with Granny Kumar

I've still been listening to the radio, but failed to write anything up in a while, so time to break open a new pack of typing fingers and suggest a talk show to you.

"Granny (Ummi) Kumar" was a character played by Meera Syal in The Kumars at No. 42, although she has done similar characters in other works, perhaps most recently in Mrs. Sidhu Investigates. Here, Granny Kumar is removed from most of her family (with the exception of the technologically savvy - and therefore useful) great grand-daughter Maya, but instead is joined by a range of guests.

Around the interviews is a sprinkling of scripted comedy, with Ummi playing off against Geeta, leader of the local community group, while maintaining a very dry, very enjoyable grumpy style. She's obviously in charge, and isn't above playing her age up to get her own way, as well as leading the mood of the other ladies of the community group - The "Silver Bats".

My most relevant cultural touchstone, and the one that ages me the most is The Mrs Merton Show, with a similar combination of character and guest, though this is rather more gentle with its visitors, being intended to applaud Asian and Black voices who wouldn't necessarily get as much recognition as they might deserve on more general shows.

The first two episodes have featured Samira Ahmed (Journalist), Thandie Newton (Actress), Maggie Aderin-Pocock (Scientist) and Beverley Knight (Singer), which means that they only actually get 10-12 minutes each. That doesn't really feel like long enough to get too far into any of their personal stories. It's very much a highlights reel, whereas I'd have preferred perhaps a single interviewee per episode, which would have given a bit more space for them to get a bit deeper. Will be listening to the rest of the series however.

Score 4

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Documentary Autobiographical