Ajay Chhabra

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Ajay Chhabra
AC 2015.jpg
AC 2015
Born (1970-11-28) 28 November 1970 (age 52)
Greenwich, London, England, UK
OccupationActor, comedian, producer, theatre director
Years active1998–present

Ajay Chhabra (born 28 November 1970) is a British television and theatre actor, director, producer and comedian of Indo-Fijian heritage, who is best known for playing Anil in The Basil Brush Show, The Vicar, Suresh Mattai in the BBC Radio series The Archers and the Defense Barrister George Karnad in Holby City. Ajay is Artistic Director of Nutkhut,[1] and founder of the London Mela[2] (Europe's largest South Asian festival).

Early life[edit | edit source]

Before turning professional he worked in the Hotel and Events sector. He studied Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Hospitality Management at Westminster Hotel School and the University of North London. He trained at Grosvenor House Hotel and Beck Hotels in Austria, completing his training at the University of Innsbruck.

Career[edit | edit source]

He created and played Stanley in Kafka's Dick by Alan Bennett and developed his own series Planet Ajay for the BBC, creating and playing four characters – himself, his evil twin brother, Badjay, a space serpent: Jaleel the Eel and his maternal grandmother, Naniji, using green screen technology.

In 1995 he made his West End debut in Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard alongside Felicity Kendal, Art Malik and the late Margaret Tyzack. He has worked for BBC Radio Drama reading works exclusively for V S Naipaul and Salman Rushdie.[citation needed]

Come to Kochi, an 8 part series which Chhabra presented from the Southern Indian state of Kerala, is now taught as part of the National Curriculum.[citation needed]

He has directed and performed for Diesel Clothing Company in Italy, Greece, Holland, Germany and Denmark, bringing together fashion and theatre in creating a theatrical presentation of Spring/Summer collections with catwalk models, classical dancers and actors.[citation needed]

In 2011 he created and performed a virtual customer of the future for the Senior Executive board of HSBC bank in Canary Wharf, London and at its headquarters in Hong Kong, enabling senior directors to execute future customer account profiles.[citation needed]

As part of the centenary commemorations of the First World War,[3] created by Chhabra, over 50,000 people experienced Dr Blighty at Brighton's Royal Pavilion Gardens. The projections spread far and wide on social media and were seen by over a million people online.

Dr Blighty[4] threw a spotlight on the Indians[5] who travelled across the world to fight for the Allies during the First World War. More than one million men travelled from India to fight in the Great War, and the collective experiences of these volunteer forces constitute one of the great untold stories in military history. The event successfully brought to life the experiences of the injured Indian soldiers sent to recuperate in Brighton and the locals who came to know and care for them.

Chhabra is a board member of The Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN)[6] and a member of the Mayor of London Cultural Leadership Board.[7]

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Film[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Second Generation Talvin
2002 Bend It Like Beckham Party Guest
2002 Anita and Me Mr. Bhatra
2003 The Audition Sargent Short film
2005 Project Huxley Colin
2021 Tom and Jerry Mr. Mehta

Television[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
1998, 2007 Casualty Ravi Sangera
Felix Spencer
Episodes: "Internal Inferno: Part 1"
"Sweet Charity"
1998 The Bill Mr. Wadia Episode: "Christmas Star"
2002–2007 The Basil Brush Show Anil
2003 Holby City George Karnad Episodes: "The One You Love: Part 1"
"The One You Love: Part 2"
2005 Dream Team Doctor Episode: "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"
2009 Planet Ajay Ajay
2012 Hunted Pakistani Driver Episode: "Khyber"
2016 Marcella Shop Owner Episode #1.1
2017 Hetty Feather Deerheart Episode: "Plans"
2017 Carters Get Rich Waiter Episode #1.2
2018 BBC3 Quickies (TV Mini-Series) Dad When You Disappoint Your Parents
2018 The Jewish Enquirer (TV Series) Mike Geddis MP Feathers & Foreskins
2019 Four Weddings and a Funeral (TV Series) Rafik Lights, Camera, Wedding
2020 Vera (TV Series) Nasir Ali Blood Will Tell

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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