Radio: Goodness Gracious Me

1998-2001 Sketch Comedy show performed by British Indians Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kulvinder Ghir and Nina Wadia. Most sketches were self-parody of British Asians and Asian culture, the reaction of white British people to Asians, or Indian-styled spoofs of western TV shows. Began as a radio series, then became a TV adaption on BBC1. A one off reunion special aired in 2014.

Regular characters included:

  • Cheque Please - A tactless playboy who drives his dates away with insensitive behaviour or comments.
  • Bhangra Muffins - Two "street" teenage boys with attitude.
  • Everything Comes From India - A man who believes that everything from shampoo note  to Superman is Indian note  or was invented by Indians.
  • Minx Twins - Gossipy teenage girls.
  • Chunky Lafanga - Bollywood superstar.
  • Smeeta Smitten Showbiz Kitten - A Bollywood reporter whose presenting style leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The Coopers - Snobbish nouveau riche couple in denial that they are Indian.
  • Bhangra Man - A superhero who saves people through the power of bhangra dance.
  • Guru Maharishi Yogi - A spiritual "guru" who likes to con money out of his followers.
  • The Competitive Mothers: Exactly What It Says on the Tin

The best remembered sketch from the show, which has won several awards, was "Going for an English" - a parody of the behaviour of drunken Brits in Indian restaurants.


Tropes used in the show include:

  • Berserk Button - Try suggesting that the Kapoors and Rabindranaths - er, Coopers and Robinsons - are anything but 100% English ...
  • The B Grade - "My son got a B!"
  • Catch Phrase - "Kiss my chuddies!", "Cheque please!", "In your dreams, buddy!", "I can make it at home for nothing!", "Chaakde phaate!", "Yes, but how big is his danda?", etc.
  • Captain Ethnic: the Punjabi super-hero BhangraMan, who defeats his foes through his amazing superpower of Indian folk dancing. BhangraMan is meant as a double parody, firstly of comic super-heroes in general, and secondly of the home-grown Indian variant such as Shaktimaan and Nagraj.
  • Captain Geographic: the Punjabi superhero BhangraMan.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus
  • Cloud Cuckoolander - The Bhangra Muffins
  • Gag Dub - The "Skipinder the Punjabi Kangaroo" sketch.
  • Gay Bar
  • Just The Introduction To The Opposites: "Going Out for an English", about a group of drunk and rowdy Indian friends who visit an English restaurant, repeatedly mispronounce the waiter's strange foreign name (James) and show how macho they are by ordering "the blandest thing on the menu".
    • This sketch is exceptional for the series in that it makes fun of a stereotype of white British, rather than British Asian, behaviour.
  • Large Ham - Chunky Lafanga
  • My Beloved Smother
  • Running Gag
  • Sound to Screen Adaptation
  • Titled After the Song: "Goodness Gracious Me" was originally a comic song by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren, in which Sellers played a heavily-accented Indian doctor and Loren his patient, who was in love with him. According to Word of God, the Goodness Gracious Me team originally intended to do a much more aggressive sketch attacking the song, until they listened to the lyrics and realised that, despite the stereotypical fake accent, Sellers' character was actually quite positively portrayed and the song wasn't racist in its humour.
  • The Unintelligible - Bhangra Man speaks only in Punjabi but is always perfectly understood by English-speaking characters.
  • Truth in Television - The cast based some the characters on the show on people they knew and didn't exaggerate when portraying them, offending those people greatly while doing it.