Mumbai Calling. Image shows from L to R: Kenny Gupta (Sanjeev Bhaskar), Terri Johnson (Daisy Beaumont), Dev (Nitin Ganatra). Copyright: Allan McKeown Presents
Mumbai Calling

Mumbai Calling

  • TV sitcom
  • ITV1
  • 2007 - 2009
  • 8 episodes (1 series)

ITV sitcom set in an Indian call centre. British-born Kenny is sent to India to run the business. He must work with Dev and Terri. Stars Sanjeev Bhaskar, Nitin Ganatra, Daisy Beaumont, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee, Naren Chandavarkar and more.

Press clippings

The pilot for Mumbai Calling was broadcast so long ago that the catch-up introduction to the new series was almost an episode in itself. For those who missed it, or have scant recall of what happened, the pilot saw Wembley-born Kenny Gupta (Sanjeev Bhaskar) sent off to Mumbai to manage a call centre, along with troubleshooting assessor Terri Johnson, who turned out to be a woman (Daisy Beaumont). An attractive woman. You get the idea.

And it's not bad. It's not great either, but there is enough funny material to inspire cautious optimism, and the central characters definitely show potential, which is the most important factor in a sitcom's success. There is no laughter track, always a good thing, and the sheer originality of the setting merits some acknowledgement. I say give it a chance.

Oddly enough, for a television comedy, many of the best scenes occurred as reported action off screen. Such as the episode's funniest moment in which the India-based team inadvertently directed a funeral cortege away from Milton Keynes Crematorium and into Woburn Safari Park, where the corpse was set upon by lions.

I laughed a lot at that bit and also derived much pleasure from Nitin Ganatra's over the top performance as the amiable but ineffectual middle manager Dev. Every good sitcom needs a scene stealer.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 8th June 2009

Weekend TV choice: Mumbai Calling

It's a great premise: a comic peek at Britain's helpline outsourcing from the viewpoint of an ­Indian call centre showing that, however much the British whine about not being able to talk to an Englishman on the phone, talking to an Englishman when you work in a call centre is worse. It's like a gentler The Office. Mumbai looks gorgeous and the supporting cast steal every scene, but the rest of it drags.

Kat Brown, The London Paper, 5th June 2009

TV Review: Mumbai Calling

The cleverer lines were all so throwaway you barely noticed them, meaning you were left with the broader, much worse comedy being dominant.

Anna Lowman, TV Scoop, 31st May 2009

Mumbai Calling Episode 1 Review

The show has a number of things in its favour, but the major letdown is simple: it isn't funny.

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 31st May 2009

Filmed entirely in Mumbai, this refreshingly original new sitcom stars Sanjeev Bhaskar as a British Asian called Kenny who is sent out (or "home", as his boss puts it) to India to help improve the fortunes of a failing call centre.

Pete Naughton, The Telegraph, 30th May 2009

No doubt due to empty coffers, and capitalising on the cachet of a post-Slumdog Millionaire comedy set in a Mumbai call centre, not to mention the high profile of the actor Nitin Ganatra (Masood in EastEnders), ITV has dusted off this long-left-on-the-shelf comedy show, which piloted two years ago to decidedly lukewarm reviews. From the team behind Birds of a Feather, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Lovejoy, it stars Sanjeev Bhaskar as a British-born Indian sent to manage a Mumbai call centre. It manages to swerve the Mind Your Language trap of jokes centred around the fact that the Indian employees don't speak the lingo too well, but only just. There are a few chuckles to be had along the way - mainly from Ganatra, who is a rather good comic actor, but on the whole it's about as funny as a slum clearance.

David Hayles, The Times, 30th May 2009

Sanjeev Bhaskar stars in this inventive new seven-part comedy series, filmed entirely on location in India. Sanjeev plays Kenny Gupta, packed off to Mumbai to try and rescue a struggling call centre, run by the less than reliable Dev Rajah (EastEnders' Nitin Ganatra). Daisy Beaumont plays a troubleshooter whose arrival only adds to the confusion.

The Daily Express, 30th May 2009

Interview: Sanjeev Bhaskar

Sanjeev Bhaskar is back with a new sitcom - but how come we still see so few other Asian faces on British TV?

Patrick Smith, The Telegraph, 30th May 2009

On location: Mumbai Calling

Exec producer Allan McKeown battled dirt, heat and sickness to call in his Bombay dream.

Allan McKeown, Broadcast, 12th May 2009

Time Out India Review

This television series will have you at hello. Mumbai Calling is a hilarious send-up of the business process outsourcing industry.

Nandini Ramnath, Time Out India, 26th December 2008

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