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Hardeep Singh Kohli (born 1969) is a writer, comedian, presenter and property landlord in the United Kingdommarker.

Background

Kohli was born in Glasgowmarker and his parents came to the UK from in India in the 1960s. His mother was a social worker, and his father a teacher then a property landlord. He was initially schooled at Hillhead Primary School in the West End of Glasgowmarker, then latterly, Meadowburn Primary.

Aged eight, he moved to St. Aloysius College, a private Roman Catholic school in central Glasgow. Kohli gained eight As in his O-grades, and four As and a B in his Highers. He then studied Law at Glasgow Universitymarker.

While studying, Kohli managed a few restaurants and began working as an usher at the Citizens Theatremarker.

Career

Broadcasting

After graduating, he joined the BBC Scotland graduate production trainee scheme. He moved to BBC Television Centremarker, Londonmarker to direct Children's TV, and Janet Street Porter's series Reportage. He returned to London to direct RTS and BAFTA winning show It'll Never Work.

Kohli left the corporation in 1996 to begin working independently. He is known for writing, directing and starring in Channel 4's Meet the Magoons in 2004, which was axed after one series. The show was nominated for a Golden Rose at the Montreux Comedy Festival. Kohli presented the RTS nominated documentary In Search of the Tartan Turban for Channel 4, which explored cultural identity as a Briton and a Scot belonging to an ethnic minority. It won a children's BAFTA and spun off into a daytime Channel 4 series, Hardeep Does... that covered a variety of different topical issues: sex, religion and pets. He went on to write and presented A Beginner's Guide to L. Ron Hubbard.

In January 2007, Kohli had a three-part series on Channel 4, £50 Says You'll Watch This, exploring gambling. The show involved Kohli taking part in a celebrity card game, visiting casinos in Las Vegasmarker. In October 2006, February 2007 and January 2009 he appeared on the BBC political panel programme Question Time, and he has been an occasional presenter on Newsnight Review, Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 and guest presenter on Loose Ends.

In May 2008 Kohli presented a cooking series for UKTV with John Torode. On 23 September 2008 he took part in a radio interview with Les Ross of BBC WM which was criticised for the DJ's interviewing style and lack of preparation.

Kohli participated in a celebrity edition of The Apprentice in order to raise money for charity. Sport Relief Does The Apprentice was part of the BBC's annual charity initiative Sport Relief and aired on 12 and 14 March 2008. He was the Celebrity Apprentice to be "fired". He also appeared on Gordon Ramsay: Cook Along Live and lost.Kohli is an avid cook and in September 2006 took part in BBC One's Celebrity Masterchef programme, reaching the final along with Roger Black and Matt Dawson. He was runner-up.

He was the presenter for series two of CBBC game show Get 100. In 2008, he appeared in the Scottish segment of the BBC's Children in Need appeal, steered by Jackie Bird and Des Clarke, and was a judge for the Man Booker Prize at the end of 2008.

His performance on BBC Scotland's hour long Hogmanay Live show for 2009 was described by journalist John McKie in the Daily Record: "Ladbrokes Casino.com, in the huff about a banned ad after one complaint, have launched a new ad campaign searching for Anyone Missing A Funny Bone. Why don't they try BBC's Hogmanay host Hardeep Singh Kohli? He'd take the smile off the Mona Lisa." In June 2009 Kohli was one of five volunteers who took part in a BBC series of three programmes Famous, Rich and Homeless about living penniless on the streets of Londonmarker.From 2007-2009 Kohli wrote Hardeep is your Love a column for Scotland on Sunday, on topics that mainly concerned food and family and being ashamed of enjoying Harry Potter. Scotland on Sunday axed the feature in August 2009. Kohli occasionally writes for The Guardian and The Independent. Kohli wrote a book about food and travel in Indiamarker, Indian Takeaway. In August 2009 he performed a one man show, The Nearly Naked Chef, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to lukewarm reviews from local and national press. According to The Guardian, "the impression is of a man who has wrongly assumed that comedy is as easy as it looks. It isn't, as Kohli proves"

Personal life

His younger brother is the film and TV actor and writer Sanjeev Kohli. His elder brother, Raj, is a policeman. He is separated with two children - a boy and a girl. He is currently being divorced by his wife, Shamila.[243581]

In February 2008, he was third out of four candidates in the election for Rector of the University of Glasgow.

More recently Kohli has followed the trend of signing up for a Twitter account.In August 2009, he took down his page when the Daily Record revealed that Kohli, a children's presenter, had been posting puns based on pornalised versions of children's programmes from his account, causing protests from his Twitter followers and the public at large. [243582]

Controversy

Property controversies

In June 2008, The Herald reported: "Properties owned and rented by comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli have been branded "grubby and dirty" and substandard as the celebrity was issued with warnings over his conduct as a landlord. Mr Kohli... was also denied three-year licences for two flats which are part of a raft he owns and leases through his father's company in Glasgow's west end."

Three tenants of homes owned by the Kohli family were hospitalised as a result of the poor condition of the properties.

The Kohli family attempted to claim that there was "racism" against them. Hardeep's brother, Raj said that if their father "was a white man, member of the masonic lodge, member of the Rotary Club, played golf" then the family would not have been called to task over their sub-standard properties.However a spokesman for Glasgow City Council rejected Kohli’s accusations of “racism”. “The Kohli family have been treated exactly the same as anyone else would have been treated. This is a very, very serious allegation and we trust that Mr Kohli will seek to take formal legal action if he really believes these claims rather than simply speaking about them to a newspaper.”No action was taken.

Suspension from the BBC's The One Show

In July 2009, Kohli was suspended from the show for 6 months after a complaint by a female member of staff for inappropriate behaviour. The BBC news website reported: "The One Show's Hardeep Singh Kohli has been dropped following a complaint of inappropriate behaviour from a female colleague, the BBC has confirmed. Kohli, 39, will take six months away from the BBC One show 'to reflect on his behaviour.'

References

  1. Relative Values: Hardeep Singh Kohli and his brother Sanjeev - Times Online
  2. Sale, Jonathan - "The Independent: Passed/Failed - Hardeep Singh Kohli" 8th September 2005
  3. Sale, Jonathan - "The Independent: My First Job: Hardeep Singh Kohli, comedy writer, was a theatre usher" 28 June 2007
  4. BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight Home | Newsnight Review | Hardeep Singh Kohli
  5. Hardeep Singh Kohli on his favourite Soho stroll | Lifeandhealth | Life and Health
  6. http://www.channel4.com/more4/microsites/L/lastword/hosts/host4.html
  7. Channel 4 - Faith and belief - The Beginner's Guides
  8. 'Take it away, Les: Hardeep Singh Kohli terminates BBC radio interview'
  9. "Hardeep Singh Kohli appeared in Sport Relief Does The Apprentice for charity", Charities Aid Foundation, 2008-02-28. Retrieved on 2008-02-29.
  10. BBC page about Famous, Rich and Homeless
  11. Don't lose your heads over my turban - Scotland on Sunday
  12. 'I read Harry Potter secretly on trains, half embarrassed, half ashamed. I loved it' - Scotland on Sunday
  13. [1]
  14. University of Glasgow in 2008
  15. Hardeep Singh Kohli: It's Hard-eep Cheese as my Twitter chums melt away


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