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Jameela Alia Burton-Jamil (born 25 February 1986)[2] is a British actress, radio presenter and activist. Jamil began her career as an English teacher before becoming a presenter on T4 from 2009 until 2012. Jamil became the radio host of The Official Chart, and was co-host of The Official Chart Update alongside Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1. Jamil was the first solo female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Chart show.[3]

Jameela Jamil
D (42913095065) (cropped).jpg
Jamil at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Born
Jameela Alia Burton-Jamil

(1986-02-25) 25 February 1986 (age 33)
London, England
NationalityBritish
Occupation
  • Presenter
  • actress
  • activist
Years active2009–present
Height5 ft 10 12 in (1.79 m)[1]
Partner(s)James Blake (2015–present)
Websitejameelajamil.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Following a breast cancer scare in 2016, Jamil moved to the United States to pursue a career as a screenwriter. Whilst there, Jamil auditioned for Michael Schur and was cast as Tahani Al-Jamil in the NBC fantasy comedy series The Good Place (2016–present).[4] Jamil is also widely regarded as a body neutrality activist, and is very well known for her activism, especially against popular diet products.[5]

Early lifeEdit

Jamil was born in London, England, to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother.[6] She was not raised in any religion, and remains irreligious.[7]

Jamil was born with congenital hearing loss and labyrinthitis, which she had to have several operations to correct. She states that she has "70% audibility in my left ear and 50% in my right ear" as of 2015.[8] At school, Jamil says she was "bookish and shy".[9] At the age of nine, Jamil was diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.[10] As a teenager, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, not eating a full meal between the ages of 14 and 17. She has stated that she believes her eating disorder developed due to societal pressure, explaining:

I was bombarded with a narrative that had no alternative. There were never any women who were celebrated for their intellect ... and all of my magazines were selling me weight loss products or telling me to be thin. Otherwise, I wasn't worth anything.[11]

At the age of 17, Jamil was struck by a car while fleeing a bee, breaking several bones and damaging her spine. She was told that she might never walk again, but after steroid treatment and physiotherapy she slowly recovered, using a Zimmer frame to start walking.[12][13] She cites the car accident as what pushed her towards recovery in that it "changed my relationship with my body" and "figuratively knocked some sense into me".[11]

Jamil taught English to foreign students at the Callan School of English, Oxford Street, London;[13] she also worked as a model, photographer, and as a fashion scout for Premier Model Management Limited.[12][14][15]

CareerEdit

2009–2015: Early career in the mediaEdit

 
Jamil at London Fashion Week in 2009
It's very exciting. I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but there's also a huge lack of ethnic minorities in showbiz. I'm completely Asian – not mix – and I'm so proud to be such a big part of Radio 1. I actually can't wait to get started now!

 — Jamil, on being the first female host of The Official Chart[16]

Jamil appeared on the E4 show Music Zone towards the end of 2008. She began presenting T4 in 2009.[17][18] In January 2009, Alexa Chung left the morning TV show Freshly Squeezed; Jamil succeeded her as co-host, alongside Nick Grimshaw.[14][17][19][20]

Jamil presented "The Closet", an online fashion advice show on the social networking site Bebo.[18][19][21] Created and produced by Twenty Twenty Television, it formed part of the 'Bebo Originals' commission programme.[21] Jamil was photographed for a Vogue feature on "British Editorial Class of 2010" in January of that year, by David Bailey.

From 2011 to 2014 she wrote a column for Company, the women's monthly magazine.[18][22] In January 2012, Jamil replaced June Sarpong as the new host of Playing It Straight, a reality show in which one woman spent time with a group of men in an attempt to discern who were gay and who were straight.[23] In 2012, it was announced that Reggie Yates would leave BBC Radio 1 and Jamil would replace him. At the end of 2012 Jamil became the radio host of The Official Chart, and was co-host of The Official Chart Update alongside Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1. Jamil made radio history, becoming the first sole female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Chart show.[24]

2016–present: Transition into actingEdit

 
Jamil at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con

In 2016, at the age of 29 and following a breast cancer scare, Jamil left London and moved to Los Angeles,[25] with no plans of acting, instead intending to DJ and work presenting radio shows. Her agent told her that Michael Schur, who co-created Parks and Recreation, was looking for a British actress for a new upcoming comedy series. Although Jamil had no prior acting experience at this point and was wary of auditioning, she agreed to do so. She was later recalled for a second interview, and was given the role.[26][27][28]

The show premiered in September 2016, with Jamil being a regular cast member of the NBC fantasy comedy series The Good Place, where she plays Tahani Al-Jamil, alongside Kristen Bell and Ted Danson.[29] Jamil's character became known for her tendency to name drop.[30]

Jamil made her first American magazine cover on the February 2018 edition of The Cut.[31] She provided her voice as a guest on the animated television series DuckTales.[32] In 2018, Jamil joined the cast of Disney's Indian-inspired cartoon set in fictional Jalpur. Mira, Royal Detective is expected to air on Disney Junior channels in 2020, with Jamil playing Mira's Auntie Pushpa.[33] In 2018, Jamil hosted a recurring segment on Last Call with Carson Daly during its final season, entitled "Wide Awake with Jameela Jamil".

In 2019, Jamil auditioned for the host position of Misery Index, a show on Tru TV, alongside the Impractical Jokers.

Other venturesEdit

In June 2012, Jamil collaborated with Very to debut her first fashion collection.[34]

ActivismEdit

Late in 2015, Jamil launched Why Not People?, an events and membership company dedicated to hosting live entertainment events accessible to disabled people.[35] In March 2018, Jamil created an Instagram account called I Weigh,[36] inspired by a picture that she came across online of Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian with their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, detailing each woman's weight.[37] Jamil describes I Weigh as "a movement... for us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look past the flesh on our bones".[38] The account welcomes submissions of followers' non-edited or airbrushed selfies using the hashtag #iweigh, with text describing the things that they feel grateful for or proud of.[38][37] In part due to this work, Jamil was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women during 2018.[39]

Jamil has been a critic of diet shakes and eating suppressant products. She explained that as a teenager she starved herself, took laxatives and tips from celebrities on how to maintain a low weight. She has criticised rapper Cardi B, the Kardashians and other influencers for promoting diet suppressants via social media.[40] Jamil created a petition via change.org, titled "Stop celebrities promoting toxic diet products on social media", with a goal of reaching 150,000 signatures. She called upon social media services Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ban the practice, noting its dangerous rhetoric on young impressionable teenagers.[41]

In the last few years we have seen a scary rise in the marriage of celebrity and diet/detox endorsement. There's little to no information about the side effects or main ingredients, the harm they may cause or any of the science behind how these products are supposed to work. They are instead, flogged in glossy paid adverts by celebrities and influencers with no expertise or authority in nutrition/medicine/biology.

— An excerpt from Jamil's petition[41]

CharityEdit

Jamil appeared on C4 "Orange Rockcorps 2009", volunteering for four hours to help create a concert to fund local community projects.[42] She has supported the Cultural Learning Alliance, which promotes access to culture for children and young people,[43] and Vinspired National Awards for people aged 16–25 who have contributed to their communities through volunteering.[44][45] Jamil designed her own version of SpongeBob SquarePants, for a Childline charity auction.[46] Jamil also said that she would wear a chicken costume for the same number of days equal to the number of thousands of pounds she raises for Comic Relief. She was sponsored approximately £16,000 so vowed to wear the costume for 16 consecutive days.[47]

HonoursEdit

She was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue "Forces for Change", by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.[48]

On 2 August 2019, Jamil was awarded "Advocate of the Year" from the Ehlers-Danlos society.[49]

Personal lifeEdit

Jamil has been in a relationship with musician James Blake since 2015.[50]

In May 2019, Jamil shared that she had an abortion earlier in her life. She stated, "It was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn't want, and wasn't ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially."[51]

On 10 October 2019, as part of World Mental Health day, Jamil revealed she survived a suicide attempt six years prior as well as criticising the lack of services for those struggled. She also revealed that she sought EMDR therapy to treat her post traumatic stress disorder.[52]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2019 How to Build a Girl

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2009–2012 Freshly Squeezed Herself Lead host
2012 Playing It Straight Herself Host
2015 The Great Comic Relief Bake Off Herself Series 2, Episode 3
2016–present The Good Place Tahani Al-Jamil Main cast
2018 Last Call with Carson Daly Herself Host, recurring segment, Wide Awake with Jameela Jamil
2018 Hollywood Game Night Herself Episode: "Ho Ho Holiday Game Night"
2019 Still Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate Herself
2019 DuckTales Gandra Dee (voice) Episode: "The Dangerous Chemistry of Gandra Dee!"[32]
2019 Misery Index Herself Lead host
2020 Mira, Royal Detective Auntie Pushpa (voice) Recurring role[53]

RadioEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2015 The Official Chart Host BBC Radio 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Biography". Jameela Jamil. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Jameela Jamil". Claimed date of birth on Facebook profile. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Clara Amfo to present BBC Radio 1's Official Chart Show". Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (26 February 2016). "Good Place: English presenter Jameela Jamil cast in Mike Schur NBC series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  5. ^ How Jameela Jamil built a brand around body positivity. Vox. 4 December 2018.
  6. ^ Silman, Anna (5 February 2018). "Jameela Jamil Has Found Her Good Place". The Cut. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Jameela Jamil slams 'hater' who accused her of being a 'bad Muslim'". Metro News. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  8. ^ McGrath, Nick (20 April 2015). "Jameela Jamil has faced cancer and spine damage but has never felt better". mirror. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Jameela Jamil of T4 is our chic look celeb". Metro.co.uk. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Jameela Jamil on Instagram: "Proud to be an @ehlers.danlos advocate of the year. I got diagnosed at 9 years old and there is still so little information 20 years later…"". Instagram. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Jameela Jamil on banning airbrushing, the Kardashians and her traumatic teens". Channel 4 News. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ a b Mulloy, Katie; Bella Howard (photographer); Steve Morriss (stylist) (December 2009), Nylon, New York: Nylon Holding Inc. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ a b "Interview: Jameela Jamil", Look magazine, London, UK: IPC Group Limited, 16 February 2010
  14. ^ a b "Jameela Jamil: Our Style Crush – Sky Showbiz". Showbiz.sky.com. Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  15. ^ [dead link]"Jameela Jamil". Premiermodelstyle.com. Retrieved 21 October 2010.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Copsey, Robert (11 January 2013). "Jameela Jamil talks Radio 1 Chart Show". Digital Spy.
  17. ^ a b "Jameela Jamil". Millndoll.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  18. ^ a b c "Hackford Jones PR – Entertainment – Jameela Jamil". Hackford Jones PR. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Jameela | represented by Money Management". Moneymanagementuk.com. 11 November 2009. Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  20. ^ Fletcher, Alex (23 January 2009). "T4 unveils new host Jameela Jamil". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  21. ^ a b "Jameela Jamil undresses for Westfield London Flash Mob". Fashionandrunway.com. 9 October 2009. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  22. ^ Levine, Daniel S. (20 September 2017). "Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  23. ^ "'Playing It Straight' to return to E4". Digital Spy. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  24. ^ "Reggie Yates, Vernon Kay to leave Radio 1, Jameela Jamil for Chart Show". Digital Spy. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  25. ^ Chocano, Carina (18 September 2018). "Jameela Jamil Is on a 'Burger-Friendly, Life-Positive' Mission". Elle. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  26. ^ Turner, Lauren (14 October 2017). "Why Jameela Jamil is in a Good Place". BBC News. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  27. ^ Fetters, Ashley (11 January 2018). "Jameela Jamil Had Never Acted Before 'The Good Place'". GQ. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  28. ^ Adams, Erik (4 January 2018). "Jameela Jamil suggests you take all your Good Place spoiler requests to Ted "Loose Lips" Danson". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 February 2016). "'Good Place': British Presenter Jameela Jamil Cast In Mike Schur NBC Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 February 2016). "'Good Place': British Presenter Jameela Jamil Cast in Mike Schur NBC Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  31. ^ Jamil, Jameela [@jameelajamil] (5 February 2018). "My first USA cover! Thanks @thecut What a bloody lovely surprise that was. Interview is out now! www.instagram.com/p/Be0nENSFcbp/" (Tweet). Retrieved 10 April 2018 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ a b Jamil, Jameela [@jameelajamil] (21 September 2018). "Joining the cast of Ducktales and living out my childhood dream! couldn't be more excited. 🤓" (Tweet). Retrieved 9 November 2018 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ "Jameela Jamil joins Disney Indian-inspired cartoon". BBC News. 30 November 2018.
  34. ^ "The exclusive first collection designed by Jameela Jamil for Very.co.uk". Blog.very.co.uk. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  35. ^ "Jameela Jamil: 'Britain deals with disability by pretending it's not happening'". The Independent. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  36. ^ "I Weigh (@i_weigh) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  37. ^ a b Jamil, Jameela. "I weigh". Jameela Jamil – Diary of a Goon. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  38. ^ a b "What is i_weigh – @i_weigh". www.instagram.com. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  39. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  40. ^ "Let's Break Down Cardi B's Expletive-Filled Twitter War Over "Nonsense" Detox Tea". Bravo TV Official Site. 28 November 2018.
  41. ^ a b "100,000 People Sign Jameela Jamil's Petition To Stop Celeb Endorsed Diets". 10 February 2019.
  42. ^ "Orange RockCorps – Series 1 – Episode 7 – Orange Rockcorps 2009". Channel 4. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  43. ^ "Stories". Cultural Learning Alliance. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  44. ^ "Millennium Volunteers, Youth Volunteers, Volunteering Opportunities". Bacyp.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  45. ^ "national awards". Nationalawards.vinspired.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  46. ^ "Photos from the Spongebob Squarepants Tenth Birthday Celebration and Charity Auction With The Saturdays, Sophie Ellis-Bextor". Popsugar.co.uk. 22 January 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  47. ^ Digital Spy. "Jameela Jamil offers to wear chicken suit for a month for Comic Relief". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  48. ^ "Meghan Markle puts Sinéad Burke on the cover of Vogue's September issue". The Irish Times. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  49. ^ "Jameela Jamil on Instagram: "Proud to be an @ehlers.danlos advocate of the year. I got diagnosed at 9 years old and there is still so little information 20 years later…"". Instagram. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  50. ^ "Jameela Jamil on Instagram: "3 years with this untalented bastard ❤️"". Instagram. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  51. ^ Jamil, Jameela [@jameelajamil] (13 May 2019). "I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn't want, and wasn't ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel. / On 10th October 2019, as part of work mental health day, Jamil revealed she survived a suicide attempt six years prior" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 May 2019 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ Jamil  🌈, Jameela [@jameelajamil] (10 October 2019). "Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay This month, 6 years ago, I tried to take my own life. I'm so lucky that I survived, and went on to use EMDR to treat my severe PTSD. I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it. Because things can turn around. I promise" (Tweet). Retrieved 10 October 2019 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ "Disney Junior Orders Animated Mystery Series Inspired by Indian Cultures and Customs". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 December 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Media offices
Preceded by
Scott Mills
BBC Radio 1
Chart show presenter

13 January 2013 – 18 January 2015
Succeeded by
Clara Amfo