7 things you didn’t know about Sussex’s Chancellor Sanjeev

Everyone’s favourite chancellor has had a multi-talented life and career


Sanjeev Bhaskar, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the most talented people to grace multiple platforms in contemporary times. Born in Ealing, London on June 28, 1964, the comedian grew up in Hounslow, is a renowned comedian and actor, but most importantly, the beloved Chancellor of our very own Sussex University.

A man of the market

Bhaskar began his professional life in marketing, where he became a marketing executive for IBM after attaining a degree from Hatfield Polytechnic. However, Sanjeev swapped the marketing industry for comedy, and since then, has never looked back.

Sanjeev and ‘The Secret Asians’

Bhaskar’s rise up the ladder began in 1996 when he co-starred in his first comedic act called ‘The Secret Asians.’ The audiences grew with every show, and soon enough Bhaskar was to meet Anil Gupta, who produced Bhaskar’s first BBC Radio and TV show ‘Goodness Gracious Me.’

Later on, the famous Chancellor appeared in the TV comedy, ‘The Kumars at No. 42.’ This production went on to win International Emmy Awards in both 2002 and 2003. Since then, Bhaskar has appeared in many TV shows and films. He played Dr. Jafri in Paddington 2 in 2017, whilst playing the lead role as Dr. Prem Sharma in ‘The Indian Doctor.’

Bhaskar in the Booth?

In 2003, Sanjeev, Gareth Gates and the Kumars released the official single for Comic Relief. The song ‘Spirit in the Sky,’ which was a cover of Norman Greenbaum’s original song, was at the top of the UK Singles Chart for three weeks and was the second largest selling single that calendar year. Is there anything that man can't do?!

The OBE

Turns out it's not just Sussex who love Sanjeev, as in 2006, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire, otherwise known as a OBE, by the Queen. He received the award based on his services to the industry of entertainment. Bhaskar’s wife, and fellow prominent actor Meera Syal, received the higher-ranking CBE in 2015.

A Bestseller for Bhaskar

In 2007, Sanjeev was a part of the documentary ‘India with Sanjeev Bhaskar.’ This series was later converted that year into a book by Bhaskar, in which it was named a Sunday Times Bestseller.

Bhaskar joins the Monty Python Crew

The University of Sussex Chancellor's talents don't just stop at TV and radio, he also has multiple theatre performances on his resume, with the most notable being ‘Spamalot.’ Bhaskar also took to the stage to play King Arthur in 2008, with the performance being based off the 1975 arguably production, which is arguably Monty Python’s most famous: ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’

The Chancellor joins University of Sussex Folklore

This summer just gone, Sanjeev was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex in recognition of his 10th year as a Chancellor, and we hope there are many more to come.

The man with a multi-faceted career seemingly has topped it off with a doctorate. It seems unlikely that his career will scale down soon but whatever happens, Bhaskar’s booming life and achievements will forever live on in Sussex's hearts.