Acclaimed West Midlands-born actress and writer Meera Syal CBE is to host the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019 final, which will be held on 23 May at Battersea Evolution.
Ms Syal is arguably best known for her comedy creations in the long running BBC series Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, which was awarded an International Emmy and for which she was nominated a BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance.
Her prolific work in TV includes roles in BAFTA-award winning ITV crime drama Broadchurch, TV movie The Boy in The Dress and the BBC’s Doctor Who.
On the big screen, Meera has starred in family favourite Paddington 2, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and Horrible Histories: The Movie, due for release in 2019.
On stage, Ms Syal has taken the roles of Miss Hannigan in Annie in London’s West End, and the Nurse in Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre. In 2011, she won best solo performance at the What’s On Stage Awards for her role of Shirley Valentine in Willy Russell’s eponymous one-woman show at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
She has written several novels, including Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, narrating the adventures of three young Asian women in Britain, and the semi-autobiographical Anita & Me; the latter won a Betty Trask Award and was later adapted into a 2002 film in which Ms Syal starred.
In 2015, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to drama and literature and, in 2017, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2018 she was seen in cinemas as she joined the casts of Nativity Rocks! and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Ms Syal said: “I’m delighted to host the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards. Small businesses and the self-employed contribute so much to the UK and I am excited to be a part of that.”
The finalists at the UK’s FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019 final on 23 May will be the category winners from 12 areas across the UK. The event will be a stunning celebration of the UK’s small businesses with entertainment, a drinks reception, a three-course dinner and the awards ceremony itself.
The 11 award categories are International Business; Micro Business; Start-Up; Scale-Up; Business & Product Innovation Award; Young Entrepreneur; Employer of the Year; Ethical-Green Business; Family Business, and Digital Innovation. There is also a Community Business of the Year Award, made at area award-level only.
Areas still open for award entries:
Northern Ireland: Closing date 25 January
East Midlands: Closing date 1 February
Wales: Closing date 8 February
North East: Closing date 15 February
East of England: Closing date 22 February
South East: Closing date 1 March
London: Closing date 8 March
To enter the awards or purchase tickets for the final, visit fsbawards.co.uk