One of the more memorable questions Sanjeev Bhaskar’s been asked in his career cropped up last year, when he was cast in the West End production of Spamalot.
“I remember someone asking me: ‘How do you think the audiences will react to an Asian King Arthur?” explains the 51-year-old star of Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, which he wrote with his comedian wife Meera Syal.
“I said: ‘First of all, King Arthur was Asian, naturally. If you needed to get your horse shoed at 3am, the King Arthur Asian shop is the only one that’s open. But I also said that if people are still thinking about King Arthur being Asian by the end of the show, then I haven’t done my job.”
Bhaskar will soon be challenging audiences to change their perceptions of him again when he plays it straight in new ITV drama Unforgotten. The drama sees him shedding his comedic skin to play single dad DS Sunil “Sunny” Khan.
Also starring Nicola Walker, Trevor Eve, Tom Courtenay and Ruth Sheen, the six-part crime drama centres around a “cold” murder case committed 39 years ago.
As the investigation gets under way, the lives of four people connected with the case begin to unfold as they realise the past won’t stay buried forever.
Unforgotten, ITV, Thursday, 9pm