Famous for being a part of Channel 4’s hit reality TV show ‘The Family’, Sunny and Shay Grewal have come a long way since it ended. They have both become household names with various TV and radio projects.BizAsia.co.ukcaught up with the popular husband-wife duo for the latest.
How has the journey been for you both since The Family۪?Sunny – Life changing and exciting. Since we’ve become a part of BBC Asian Network and BBC London 94.9 we have been literally sent back to school in learning presenting and journalist courses.
Shay – The journey has been one of hard work but lots of fun too. We have received so much love from everyone and are so thankful for all the support that we’ve received. Before the show Sunny and I were always passionate about radio and it’s fantastic to have two radio shows at the BBC.
Did you ever think the show was going to be as big as it has been?Sunny – No not in my wildest dreams. I thought people would have watched the first show and after that would have switched off. It took me by complete surprise that people enjoyed watching our family going through daily life.
Shay – Never in a million years did we think that millions of people would watch it and that the series would be nominated for a Bafta! The response we received whilst the show was on and since has blown us away. Every time we get a call or text on our radio show talking about the family it makes me smile!
Would you ever consider doing another series for Channel 4?Sunny – Most definitely. Dragonfly (production company) and Channel 4 wanted to stick to the truth and depict our true lives which they did. Even though there are things I would like to take out of the series like Dad walking around in his underwear, Tindy sleeping all day (he DJ’s late nights) and me looking grumpy at times. Overall the series was a true depiction of my family.
Shay – Never say Never. Channel 4 were so great with us and really portrayed us as a family. There were special moments in the show which will stay with us forever and of course if Channel 4 came knocking we wouldn’t say no.
What has been your highlight since the show finished
Sunny – Presenting our two radio shows with Shay!
Shay – Working with Sunny – If you had told me fast forward two years after the show that I would be doing weekend breakfast at BBC Asian Network and Saturday nights at BBC London 94.9FM with Sunny I would have said are you serious?! I never thought that we would be working together. He’s my best friend, my love and now my colleague too!!
What kind of negatives have you had since The Family۪ has been and gone on TV?
Sunny – Fortunately enough it’s been very positive and everyone has just shown us love and support in what we do.
Shay – There have been assumptions that some of what was on the family was not real or us and I think that’s always interesting to hear but asides from that nothing really that negative for me.
You have had successful radio run on the BBC Asian Network and BBC London, how have these been?
Sunny – It shocks us every week when we put up the faders on BBC Asian Network and ask the audience to say hi and without any hesitation the listeners tweet us @sunnyandshay and get involved on the show. At BBC London 94.9 we get to explore subjects that we enjoy and talk about them in more depth. One of the nbest directors in the world, Martin Scorsese has previously called Cinema his temple and I۪m lucky to share my love of the movies with our listeners at BBC London 94.9 every week.
Shay – Many people don’t know that Sunny used do radio years back and it really is one of his first loves so for us to be doing two radio shows together every weekend is something we are really grateful for. It’s what you saw on the family with us but with more fun and great music. On BBC London we definitely get to cover lots more including food, theatre, film and lots of conversation!
Was radio a medium you always wanted to try your hand on or just something that landed up on your laps?
Sunny – Radio has always been one of my first passions from when I was at college. It was also something that I was pursuing and is something that we work hard at and take seriously. Shay never thought of it as a career whereas Radio is somewhere I have always wanted to be. It’s the most interactive and instant medium to this day and it’s great to have Shay doing radio with me!
Shay – Radio was definitely a medium that I landed into. The radio is a part of our daily lives whether we have it on in the background whilst we are cooking in the kitchen or in the car whilst we are driving to work. It۪s actually quite intimate between us and the listener and am so thankful to be let into people۪s lives!
You have also done a TV show for B4U Music, how was that experience?Sunny – It was one of the most delightful things that we’ve done and definitely an introduction into presenting on TV_ it’s what we want to continue pursuing.
Shay On the first day of filming Curry On۪ I walked straight over to Atul Kotechar and said, I۪m going to make a request I hope you can fulfill. Can you please make a vegetarian meal in each show?۪ He was fantastic and agreed to it straight away. I love watching cookery shows but at times find they lack variety for different tastes and being a vegetarian I wanted to definitely have that element in our show. Plus we had great music guests we got to speak to and we always got to eat Atul’s food before everyone else. It really did taste as good as it looked!
Shay you have continued with TV with a piece on BBC One۪s Inside Out۪ show would you consider anymore television work?
Shay – Absolutely, both Sunny and I are passionate about presenting and I was delighted to do the film with Inside Out. It highlighted a topic that many of us choose to not talk about. Forced marriage is an issue which affects thousands of Asians in the UK and I felt fortunate to be able to raise and investigate the issue. I don’t believe in shying away from difficult topics and hope to continue to raise awareness and help inform in the future.
What are the best and worst things of being husband and wife and working together?
Sunny There۪s no escape when the mics go up. We always say how we feel negative or positive and then realise that thousands of people can hear us too! Being a dyslexic it’s hard to read at times and it’s great to know that Shay has my back. More than that it’s knowing that my Mrs is working alongside me.
Shay – The best thing is definitely being with each other and working together. We get to spend a lot more time together and really bounce ideas of each other. The negatives are that Sunny and I definitely do work very differently. It’s fair to say that he is the creative ideas man۪ whereas I am more of the person who implements the idea. Basically, I am Sunny’s PA!!
How are the other members of The Family۪? Are you in regular contact with the rest of them in the midst of your heavy workload?
Sunny – It’s only the weekends and family functions over the weekends that we miss but we always make time for our family. Mum, Dad and Tindy are always there with their support and advice so we are part of a great team!
Shay – We travel nearly 400 miles each weekend as we drive to our London show and then to Birmingham for our Asian Network twice for our two shows so we definitely are spending less time with the family. It means that family time is precious and we value it that much more. Mum had a knee replacement surgery a year and a half ago so we have all been working together as a family to help her on the road to recovery.
What can we expect from the Sunny and Shay۪ brand in 2012?Sunny – Well this is where I think your readers can help us with what they want us to do next! We want to do more presenting and work closely with people with creative ideas whatever that maybe…
Shay – WOW Never thought of us as a brand. All I can say to that is watch this space… Whatever we will do next I can definitely say that we will do it wholeheartedly and with dedication!
Final words to the people who have supported us as listeners, views or just friends…
Shay – It’s been a great journey the past few years and thank you for being on this ride with us. No idea where this is all going to take us but watch this space! We are where we are because of your unconditional love and support so THANK YOU!!
Sunny And if you haven’t heard our two shows please do listen in and let us know what you think. Get in touch with us on twitter @sunnyandshay also on Facebook too!
Spend weekends with Sunny and Shay. ‘Weekend Breakfast’ from 07:00 on BBC Asian Network and Saturday nights from 20:00 on BBC London 94.9FM.