Ever since the talented Leicester-born Parminder Nagra burst on to our screens with Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, this British Indian actor has been drawn towards an eclectic mix of scripts.
Her turn in ITV's new medical 'Maternal', available on the brand-new ITVX platform, comes on the back of more good news for the 47-year-old talented star as her hit ITV crime drama ‘DI Ray’ gets commissioned for a second season.
Parminder Nagra, a.k.a. DI Ray, said: "How lovely to have got the response that we did for series one. Thanks to our audience and to ITV and our amazing talented producers Maya Sondhi, Jed Mercurio, Madonna Baptiste, Jimmy Mulville, we get to do it again. We look forward to taking you on another thrilling adventure!"
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Set in Birmingham, the series will see -born DI Ray investigating the murder of a high-profile criminal. Sensitive ethnic issues relating to the case ignite racial tensions, causing a personal conflict for her character Rachita – both as a British Indian woman and as a police officer, which she must fight to prevent a turf war erupting on the streets of .
Creator and writer Maya Sondhi said: "I am so excited to be able to work with Parminder again and all the team at HTM to bring back a series two that goes deeper, darker and twistier than Spaghetti Junction… Thank you so much to ITV1 and the viewers for making it happen."
Executive producer Madonna Baptiste added: “We’re so pleased DI Ray’s unique blend of propulsive crime , while tackling racial issues, was embraced by ITV1 audiences and achieved high viewing figures.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be making a second series with our brilliant cast and crew and thank ITV1 and viewers for their support.”
The second series is set to be filmed in the Midlands this year.
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On the other end of Nagra’s current talent spectrum, is the 'Maternal' – about three female doctors returning to post-pandemic frontline medicine after maternity leave and balancing the intense demands of the and motherhood heroically. In this series, she plays paediatric registrar Dr Maryam Afridi and is joined by Lara Pulver and Lisa McGrillis as her colleagues and friends in the same boat.
ITV Studios says 'Maternal' explores working motherhood with “wit, warmth and and offers a unique perspective on our beloved, overstretched NHS, and the people who hold it together”.
Nagra was born in Leicester to parents Sukha and Nashuter Nagra – factory workers who emigrated from the region of India in the 1960s. She went to Northfield House Primary School in Leicester and later Soar Valley College. In 2007, she was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctors of Letters by the University of Leicester in July 2007.
Nagra became part of the Leicester-based theatre company Haithizi Productions and was the lead actor in the 1994 musical ‘Nimai’, presented at the Haymarket . She left Leicester for London to pursue a theatrical career and her childhood ambition of becoming an actor.
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In 2002 aged 27, Nagra essayed her breakthrough lead role in the comedy-drama ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Shaheen Khan, and Keira Knightley. Some of her other notable roles include in NBC's medical drama 'ER' from 2003-2009, the second season of the Netflix's ‘13 Reasons Why’ as Priya Singh – the new counsellor of Liberty High, and in the 2018 hit ‘Birdbox’ alongside Sandra Bullock.