Hardeep Singh Kohli
Hardeep Singh Kohli
Kohli in 2012
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow|
|Relatives||Sanjeev Kohli (brother)|
Kohli was born in London and moved to Glasgow in Scotland when he was four. His parents came to Britain from India in the 1960s. The family's roots lie in the Punjab. His mother was a social worker, and his father a teacher. In the Bishopbriggs suburb, he became a wealthy property landlord. His first school was Hillhead Primary School in the West End of Glasgow, after which he attended Meadowburn Primary in Bishopbriggs.
At age eight, he moved to John Ogilvie Hall, the primary school of St Aloysius' College, a private Roman Catholic school in central Glasgow. Kohli studied Law at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1990. While at university he worked in a vegetarian restaurant and worked as an usher at the Citizens Theatre.
After graduating from university Kohli joined the BBC Scotland graduate production trainee scheme. He later worked in BBC Television Centre, London, directing children's TV, before moving to Youth and Entertainment Features in Manchester to become a series director on Janet Street-Porter's series Reportage. He was a director of It'll Never Work, which was the first children's TV show to win an award from the Royal Television Society and BAFTA in its first season.
Kohli left the corporation in 1996 to work independently. He directed commercials and worked in TV development and broadcast occasionally on BBC Radio 5Live.
He wrote, directed and starred in Channel 4's Meet the Magoons in 2004. The critical response was lukewarm and it failed to find an audience. Thomas Sutcliffe said the first episode "went beyond desperate and started to sound as if the comedy was actually pleading for its life". He observed that "Kohli didn't have much to offer in the way of Indian flavour besides a ready-meal approach to comic insult." The kinder reviewers listed here  include Nancy Banks Smith who wrote it was "modern to the point of surreal" with A. A. Gill put forward a hope that it might "evolve into something classic" The show was entered for a Rose at the Montreux Comedy Festival but did not make the final list
In September 2006, Kohli took part in the first series of BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef programme, reaching the final along with Roger Black, finishing second to the ultimate winner, Matt Dawson. In January 2007, he had a three-part series on Channel 4, £50 Says You'll Watch This. The series was the first documentary exploring all forms of gambling. The show involved Kohli taking part in a celebrity card game, visiting casinos in Las Vegas. In October 2006, February 2007 and January 2009 he appeared on the BBC political panel programme Question Time, and was an occasional presenter on Newsnight Review, Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 and Loose Ends.
In 2008 Kohli presented "New British Kitchen" a cookery series for UKTV with John Torode. That was followed by Kohli's solo show "Chefs and the City" for the same channel. He also appeared on Gordon Ramsay: Cook Along Live. He also participated in a celebrity edition of The Apprentice 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 first Celebrity Apprentice to be "fired".
Also in 2008, Kohli filmed a documentary about Scientology, mainly the so-called Free Zone, titled The Beginner's Guide to L. Ron Hubbard. Kohli presented a documentary In Search of the Tartan Turban, which explored cultural identity as a Briton and a Scot belonging to an ethnic minority. The show won a Schools BAFTA. Channel 4 commissioning a five part series called "Hardeep Does..." that covered a variety of topical issues including sex, religion and pets. It was not renewed.
Kohli was the presenter of the second series of CBBC game show Get 100. In June 2009, he 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 London.
On 16 August 2018, Kohli entered the UK television show, Celebrity Big Brother as a celebrity housemate. Kohli was nominated four times for eviction while in the Celebrity Big Brother, before he was finally eliminated on 7 September 2018. Kohli became the fifth housemate to be evicted,
Kohli wrote and presented BBC Radio 4's "Hippy Trail" described by the Telegraph's Gillian Reynolds as "he patently had no real interest in the European and American hippies who trekked overland to India in the 1960s. At times, he seemed positively contemptuous, as if he were wondering why he was bothering" He also presented BBC Radio 4 commissions, "Where Scotland Meets England" and "Where England Meets Wales".
In 2010 Radio 2 broadcast "Great British Faith", a city based series looking at the spiritual life and history of six British cities. Described as "terrific" by Kohli's friend Elisabeth Mahoney in The Guardian she was "impressed by the depth and scope of their portraits. Kohli brought to the programmes a real sense of the spiritual textures of these urban landscapes."
Under producer Adam Fowler, he presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary 'The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper' won a prize in Illinois in 2010 as Third Coast Directors' Choice Award for Ladbroke Productions.
In 2011 Kohli presented a series about words and language “15 by 15” which took a Silver at the New York Radio Festival.
In 2012 Kohli recorded his first series of Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch, a programme that explores people’s lives while Kohli cooks lunch. The sixth series was broadcast in the autumn of 2017 and early 2018.
Kohli occasionally writes for The Guardian, The Observer, GQ magazine, Metro, The Spectator and The Independent. As a feature writer for High Life Magazine for British Airways, he was nominated but unplaced in 2014 for the AITO Travel Writer of the Year.
From mid-2014 until the end of 2015 Kohli was the food writer at the Daily Record. Currently he writes a short column for the Sunday Herald and is a food writer and occasional political writer at The New European.
This was followed by two years of "Chat Masala" where Kohli interviewed famous folk while cooking them a curry.
"Indian Takeaway" was the 2012 show where Kohli phoned in a takeaway while cooking his own version letting the audience decide the winner.
2013 he did a short run of new material which became "Hardeep is Your Love" in 2014. The following year was "Bigmouth Strikes Again". In 2016 his love of music was the inspiration for "Mixtape: My Life Through Music". "The show needed more joke content, structure and general fleshing out to be complete. Perhaps if he could get through more than just three songs, that might help," said BroadwayBaby.
The 2017 show, "Alternative, Fact" is all about the world of politics.
Kohli is also a landlord in Glasgow. This was much discussed when his properties were condemned by officials as "grubby and dirty" and substandard. He was warned about his conduct as a landlord.
On 25 March 2019, Kohli appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court, where he admitted to driving without a licence on West Nile Street in Glasgow on 10 April 2018. Kohli's driving licence had been revoked in October 2017. The court heard Kohli had experienced tingling in his foot and went to the doctor to find out what was wrong.The doctor then wrote to the DVLA about his problem which meant his licence was cancelled. Kohli’s defence lawyer Garvey McCardle said: “He was worried about his foot and he was experiencing pins and needles and he contacted his doctor. She was zealous in her approach and she told the DVLA that it led to numbness, he didn’t know she wrote to them.” He was convicted and fined £180.
Support for Scottish IndependenceEdit
Kohli wrote and spoke in support of the campaign for a "Yes" vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, appearing at the rallies for Scottish independence on 22 September 2012 and on 21 September 2013 in Edinburgh.
Kohli returned to Scotland prior to the referendum in order to take a prominent role in the Yes Scotland campaign. Kohli joined the Scottish National Party in November 2014, following the "No" campaign's victory at the independence referendum.
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