Jamila is a housewife from India who likes to knit. She is a Christian, though she exclaims “Buddha!” in “A Point of Honour
” when the class argue over which religion is the true one, possibly implying that she was once a Buddhist. She is initially one of the worst speakers in the class and often switches to Urdu out of frustration. Her catchphrase early in the series is “Gud hefening”, which is how she pronounces “Good evening” after learning the phrase from Mr. Brown. Her English improves in later episodes, though she retains a habit of adding “be” verbs to her sentences unnecessarily.
Jamila Massey (born 7 January 1934) is a British actress and writer. Massey playing Auntie Satya radio soap The Archers, Jamila Ranjha in Mind Your Language, and Neelam Kapoor in EastEnders
Massey came to Britain
with her parents in 1946 at the age of 12. Her father fought in the Second World War
, but remained in the UK and became a producer for the BBC
As a child, Massey acted for the BBC in radio children’s programmes. She attended King’s College London
and graduated in Latin
. She had aspirations to train as an actress; however, her mother frowned upon such a career. Massey’s mother refused to allow her to attend drama school after the death of her father, so she was forced to use subterfuge to fulfil her acting ambitions.
She began her career as an extra
. Her first film role was in Sink the Bismarck!
(1960), where she was used to translate and report a news section from the film into Urdu — announcing the sinking of the British battleship HMS Hood
In the mid-1990s she was cast as the recurring character Auntie Satya in Radio 4
‘s daily agricultural soap opera
, The Archers
, fulfilling one of her life’s ambitions.
Massey was the second actress to play the role. She had initially been asked to audition for the part, but was forced to turn it down due to work commitments. A year later she was offered the same part when the role was recast. Her character makes occasional appearances to visit her niece, Usha Gupta (Souad Faress
As well as acting, Massey has also co-authored several books with her husband, writer Reginald Massey. One was a novel, The Immigrants, based on field research among first-generation Asians in Britain
. The other books were The Music of India, for which Ravi Shankar
provided a foreword, and The Dances of India. Massey is deeply interested and involved in music; she has introduced several Indian musicians and dancers to audiences in the West.
Massey and her husband, the author and poet Reginald Massey, live in Llanidloes
- ^ a b c d e f g “Archer’s Actor – Jamila Massey“, BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-03-31.
- ^ “Metro Plus Delhi“, The Hindu Archive. URL last accessed on 2019-06-31.
- ^ “From India to Llani“, BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-03-31.