Actress says she was a ‘sheltered girl’

Comedienne and actress Meera Syal has revealed she didn’t go on a date until she reached her 20s.

‘I only have 2 exes and I married one of them. I was a really late starter,’ she admits. ‘I’m almost embarrassed to say that I was 23 when I met my first boyfriend.’

The actress says her strict home life prevented her from getting close to the boys.

‘My dad made it clear that boys were not on the agenda until well after school,’ says Meera, 47. ‘I was a sheltered girl when I left home.’

Second husband Sanjeev Bhaskar, 43 – her co-star on Goodness Gracious Me – was Meera’s pal for 6 years before they got romantically involved.

‘Being friends first is the ony way to have a great relationship,’ she tells Observer Woman. ‘When everything else has got wrinkly and dropped off, you still have what attracted you in the first place.’

Even so, Meera admits she always thought Sanjeev was pretty fantastic – and a great stage performer.

‘He stood out because he was so surreal and intelligent,’ she recalls. ‘I remember feeling quite envious.’

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