New Asian drama debuts on BBC One

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BBC One has launched its big ticket Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, which revolves around three thirty-something year old Asian women.

The star studded show makes its debut on BBC One tonight and will see childhood friends Tania (Laila Rouass), Sunita (Meera Syal) and Chila (Ayesha Dharker) at crossroads in life but their strong friendship hold them together.

Sunita, the eldest, used to be ‘super swot’ until she flunked out of university to marry her psychotherapist sweetheart, Akaash (Sanjeev Bhaskar), when she turned into ‘SuperMummyji’. Now she feels trapped by two kids and an unfulfilling job.

‘Gob Almighty’ Tania is the ambitious career girl who has left her family and her ‘community’ behind. Speaking her mind got her into trouble but out of Ilford.

The baby of the gang, sweet, na?ve Chila, is getting married. She has bagged the Prince Charming of Chigwell himself, Deepak Sharma (Ace Bhatti) – the man of her dreams. But he has a catalogue of former girlfriend – including Tania.

Producer Jo Willett summed up: “Life is about female friendships and how they can endure longer than husbands and lovers, but also about how much truth real friendship can stand.

“What would happen if your close friends told you what you never thought you’d want to hear? Really it asks, ‘can the strongest of friendships survive the ultimate of betrayals?'”

The novel was originally inspired by the juxtaposition of two news stories running in the same newspaper on the same day headlined ‘Asian Women Top the Graduate League’ next to ‘Asian Women Top the Suicide and Self Harm League’ on the opposite page.

Meera admits: “It disturbed me profoundly to see evidence of how much we can achieve, laced with our ability to destroy ourselves. It made me want to look at my life and the lives of my friends, all of whom were going through seismic changes in our belief systems and relationships.

“We had to face up to the fact that we weren’t our mothers, no matter how much we loved them, and what would we hand onto our daughters?”

“I also wanted to celebrate the richness of this journey we were all taking with immense humour and strength while sometimes making the biggest dramatic mistakes and discoveries along the way.”

Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee launches tonight on BBC One at 21:00.

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