‘Wonderfully warm’ Grewals star in TV series
A Sikh family from Horton near Windsor, Berkshire, is set to become the best-known Asian family in Britain.
The Grewals were chosen for the second series of Channel 4 TV’s reality show The Family, which launches on Wednesday November 4.
Round the clock filming of the fly-on-the-wall series covered a period of eight weeks and involved the use of 24 cameras.
The programme features nine family members, three generations under one roof – including a baby born during filming – plus two pet dogs.
Channel 4 says it will be the first documentary to show British Asian life in such detail.
The first series in 2008 tracked the Hughes family of Canterbury, Kent, and was nominated for a Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award.
Simon Dickson, deputy head of documentaries, said Channel 4 was lucky to have found another brilliant family through whose eyes viewers could experience the highs and lows of family life. “The Grewals are close knit and wonderfully warm – I know viewers are going to take them to their hearts over the coming weeks.”
Director David Clews said making the documentary had been an incredible experience, capturing both the big issues and the intimate moments of family life.
The family are profiled on the Channel 4 website at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-family/articles/the-family-returns-meet-the-grewals
Its members are:
Arvinderjeet Singh Grewal (Dad). Age 54. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, a coach driver but also an actor who has appeared in both Punjabi films and theatre (in plays written by his daughter Gurdip and her husband Jeep). He used to have his own courier business but closed it down when it ran into difficulties. Arvinder loves watching cricket and the soaps.
Sarbjit Grewal (Mum). Age 55. Born in Punjab, Sarbjit is a housewife and has been married for 35 years to Arvinder – a man her parents chose for her. The “glue” of the family, she is in charge of everybody’s finances and shows her love through great cooking. Her ambitions in life are to get her youngest son Tejind married and enjoy her grandchildren. Sarbjit loves to sew and watch films in her spare time.
Jitender Singh Chaudhary (Son-in-law). Age 36. Jeet is a professional puppeteer and former Bollywood actor who gave up his career in India to be in England with his wife Gurdip. He and Gurdip run a part-time theatre company. Gurdip writes and produces; Jeet directs and acts.
Jeet’s family are in Jammu, India, where he grew up before moving to Mumbai to start his acting career. He met Gurdip in Mumbai and married her in India before moving to England almost four years ago. He lived with the Grewal family before he and Gurdip bought a flat nearby.
Jeet practises yoga, likes playing PlayStation and is a great cook. Bollywood acting credits include Gangster, Sehar, A Belly Full Of Dreams, Insaan, The Dressing Room and Buddha Never Smiled.
Gurdip Kaur Chaudhary (Daughter). Age 32. Gurdip and Jeet have a two and a half year old daughter Bhavika and during filming had their second child, son Jaskaranjeet, whose birth two months prematurely became a focal point of the series.
Gurdip is a desktop publishing co-ordinator but she and Jeet also run the part-time theatre company. Gurdip feels she is incredibly lucky to have married a Bollywood star. She had wanted to be a film editor but is equally happy being a mum and developing her writing skills. Her favourite TV programmes are British and Indian soaps.
Mandeep Grewal (Eldest son). Age 33. Sunny is the joker of the house and very proud of his family. He is married to Gursharonjit (Shay) and very protective of her. The couple had a registry wedding in 2005 and their Punjabi wedding was in August 2009 – a major event in the series.
Sunny works for BAA as a security officer. He dreams of being a film director but turned down a place at an American film school as he had just met Shay and chose her over his career. Sunny is dyslexic so Shay helps him write down film ideas and scripts. His favourite, Pulp Fiction, inspired his directing dream.
Gursharonjit Grewal (Daughter-in-law). Age 24. Nine years Sunny’s junior, Shay lives with him happily in the Grewal family home. She had become estranged from her own mother. Her father passed away when she was a teenager.
Shay is ambitious and studied for a BA Hons in Sociology and an MA in Comparative World Studies. She is currently a human resources recruitment consultant in the City. She enjoys singing and used to sing Kirtans (religious songs) and play harmonium at her local gurdwara. She would describe herself as spiritual and loyal.
Tejind Grewal (Son). At 23, laid-back Tejind is the baby of the family. He is passionate about his part-time DJ business. He studied at university and plans to further his academic profile in ACCA accounting. In the meantime he works part time at Heathrow Airport in security. He has a busy social life and likes playing on his PlayStation, watching TV and playing football.
Tejind admires Sir Alan Sugar for his business acumen and feels his own biggest accomplishment is his degree. He describes himself as strong minded but admits that laziness is a weakness.
Bhavika Chaudhary (Grand-daughter). Age two. As the first grandchild, Bhavika is the apple of the family’s eye and knows how to get her own way! She is fussed over by everybody and earned the name ‘Wah Wahs’ for her attention seeking. Treading the theatre boards with her parents – Gurdip and Jeet – in family productions has made her confident on stage at a precocious age.
The Dogs. Best friends with Rusty, a one-eyed terrier, Dusty the German Shepherd is the protector of the Grewal home. Rusty thinks he is the head of the house. No one knows how he lost his eye.
Channel 4’s photo shows, left to right: Gurdip Kaur Chaudhary. Jitender Singh Chaudhary, Arvinderjeet Singh Grewal. Tejind Grewal. Bhavika Chaudhary, Gursharonjit Grewal, Mandeep Grewal.
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