Linda Bassett

O'Donnell's screen version of Ayub Khan-Din's play is a delightful little comedy about an Asian family's struggles in early-70s Salford. The late, lovely Om Puri is a Pakistani dad who runs a fish and chip shop with English wife Linda Bassett, and tries to bring up his large family in the traditional manner - arranged marriages, excruciating family gatherings - but the children start to rebel. A film that makes its points with wit and warmth.

Paul Howlett, The Guardian, 16th April 2017

Carnage, review

Simon Amstell's first feature-length film is not only hilarious, but puts a highly convincing case forward for veganism without once being preachy.

Max Benwell, The Independent, 18th March 2017

BBC iPlayer to publish Simon Amstell film Carnage

Simon Amstell has directed his first feature length film. BBC iPlayer will publish Carnage - Swallowing The Past this Spring. Stars include Martin Freeman, Joanna Lumley and Dame Eileen Atkins.

British Comedy Guide, 1st February 2017

This Bafta-winner set around a Salford chippie had a budget of less than £2million but grossed more than $30million worldwide.

Based on the award-winning play by Ayub Khan-Din, it's a comedy peppered by some deeply dark, dramatic moments, and centres on a dysfunctional Anglo-Pakistani family ruled over by the gruff and stubborn Mr Khan (a towering, complex portrait by Om Puri).

As his seven children (including Jimi Mistry) grow up, they struggle between their father's expectations and wanting to live their own lives in 1970s Britain.

It's a choppy route their mum (Linda Bassett) tries to help them navigate while staying loyal to her beloved hubby. Anarchic and edgy as well as ultimately feel-good, it ducks some of the usual racial/religious clichés, unlike the many cringe-inducing imitators it spawned, including its own, belated, and best-forgotten sequel, West Is West.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 6th February 2014

After an assured debut in 2010, this was the year that Simon Amstell and Dan Swimer's housebound sitcom really hit its stride. Amstell was still not the greatest actor in the world, but he was playing such an awkward version of himself it didn't matter. He'd also surrounded himself with great characters, played by great actors (Rebecca Front, James Smith, Samantha Spiro, Linda Bassett). While being audaciously self-referential - Amstell's ill-advised joke about Russell Watson's brain tumour on BBC Breakfast was used as a plot device - it was ultimately warm-hearted, with deft scripting that skipped from lunacy to poignancy without missing a beat.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 27th December 2012

The fact that actor Geoffrey Hutchings sadly died in 2010 after the first series of this sitcom was made has been worked in gently, as the absence of his character, Grandpa, ripples through the plot. It affects Grandma most, wonderfully played by Linda Bassett. Her desperate refusal to acknowedge emotion - often changing the subject to offer someone fruit - is becoming more extreme. Last week we learnt that she has taken to stealing china pandas from friends' houses.

This week, things get worse as the marital problems of her daughter, the brilliantly horrible Auntie Liz, threaten to engulf the family. ("Do you want a melon?" quavers Grandma, desperately.) That gives scope for Samantha Spiro as Liz to chart the range of her hilariously shifty, two-faced character. It's her finest hour yet, a cringe-making masterclass, and very funny.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 10th May 2012

Simon Amstell's sharp Jewish sitcom in which he plays a slightly skewed version of himself continues to charm. In tonight's thoroughly farcical episode Simon plans on taking newly kleptomaniac Grandma (Linda Bassett) to see a counsellor before heading off on a date. Things go awry when a bumbling Clive (James Smith) turns up and makes a confession about an entanglement with Liz (Samantha Spiro).

Toby Dantzic, The Telegraph, 9th May 2012

Simon Amstell's lack of acting talent rears its head again in another corker of an episode, focusing on his impending new play. Meanwhile, Clive reaches breaking point on the day of Tanya's birthday. Linda Bassett steals the show as Amstell's grandmother, though, her incessant fussing poignantly masking her grief for her late husband. If only she could follow her daughters' example in saying what she thinks.

Metro, 3rd May 2012