January 31, 2009
Many within Asian media were in shock this week when it emerged that 41 year old writer Sharat Sardana died on Tuesday this week.
Known most famously for co-writing sketches for Goodness Gracious Me, Sharat had gone on to set up Gasp Productions along with co-workers Anil Gupta and Ash Atalla.
He also wrote for Kumars at No. 42 and was seen as a leading talent in British comedy.
Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar released a statement today saying they were “stunned and completely broken hearted about Sharat’s death”.
“He was not just a gifted writer and a long-standing colleague and friend. We were part of each other’s extended families and losing him feels like losing a brother. There is so much he should have and could have done, though we’re grateful and so very proud of what he achieved in his all-to-brief life.”
Actress Nina Wadia, who also worked with Sharat on GGM, said: “My heart goes out to his family. The time we spent creating something new and special and bigger than ourselves was a privilege I’ll always treasure. We’ve lost a genuinely unique talent.”
Sardana died at Whipps Cross University Hospital on Tuesday, the east London hospital confirmed. He collapsed at the home of his 82-year-old father, Om.
He was notably featured in a small cameo in the highly popular “Going for an English” sketch, for GGM.
Pictured with Meera Syal, both with GGM props
Tributes also poured in from the BBC, where he had worked extensively, before moving to HatTrick Productions.
John Plowman, executive producer of BBC Comedy, said: “It’s a very sad day for comedy to lose a writer who managed to help comedy break through in the way that Goodness Gracious Me did.”
His cousin, Anita Kirpal, said: “It is impossible to describe the sadness caused by Sharat’s sudden death. He was a funny, insightful man, a great writer, a true friend and a generous family member.”
Goodness Gracious Me went on to win an International Emmy and three Bafta nominations. It ran into three series and two specials episodes and a theatre tour.
In tribute to Sharat Sardana
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