Shobna Gulati Celebrity Best Home Cooks

Shobna Gulati: From Corrie fame to Celebrity Best Home Cook

She's currently showing off her cookery skills alongside Rachel Johnson and Ferne McCann

Shobna Gulati is currently showing off her kitchen skills on Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC One, but she’s probably more famous for her role in Corrie.

The actress starred in the ITV soap from 2001 to 2013.

But why did she leave? And what else has she starred in?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Shobna Gulati Celebrity Best Home Cooks
Shobna Gulati takes part on Celebrity Best Home Cook (Credit: BBC One)

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Who was Shobna Gulati in Corrie?

Shobna Gulati joined Corrie in 2001 as Sunita Parekh.

She became Sunita Alahan when she married Dev in 2004.

In 2006, Sunita gave birth to twins Aadi and Asha.

By this point, the Alahans’ perfect family life had already been ruined when Sunita discovered that Dev had numerous other children which he had kept secret from her.

Sunita died in tragic scenes that aired in April 2013.

The character was killed by Karl Munro shortly after the Rovers fire of 2013.

Sunita witnessed Karl torching the Rovers in order to frame Jason Grimshaw for dodgy electrics,.

As a result, Karl left her to die in the burning building.

She survived, but Karl dislodged her breathing tubes in hospital to finish the job.

Why did Shobna leave Corrie?

Shobna announced her departure from Coronation Street in 2013.

She expressed her desire to write and perform more comedy than her work in a soap opera had permitted her time to do.

The actress later admitted the gruelling soap schedule affected her love life.

Shobna Gulati portrayed Sunita in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)
Shobna Gulati portrayed Sunita in Coronation Street (Credit: ITV)

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What else has Shobna starred in?

Shobna’s earliest appearance was as a dancer in the video for Boy George’s 1991 single Bow Down Mister.

In the late 90s, she appeared in both series of Victoria Wood’s BBC sitcom Dinnerladies.

She appeared as Ameena Badawi from October to December 2000 in EastEnders.

But she’s most famous for her role as Sunita in Coronation Street.

After leaving Corrie for the first time in 2006, Sunita played Nisha Clayton, a recurring role in the final series of Where the Heart Is.

In November 2010, Shobna was a guest panellist on ITV’s Loose Women, and in 2016 she appeared in the ITV/Netflix series Paranoid.

She played Najia Khan in Doctor Who for four episodes from 2018 to 2020.

Shobna is currently appearing on Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC One.

Is Shobna married?

The Celebrity Best Home Cook star married the architect Anshu Srivastava in a Hindu ceremony in November 1990.

They divorced four years later in May 1994.

While she was separated from her husband, she became pregnant with her son Akshay.

Shobna has dated former Emmerdale star Gary Turner.

More recently, Shobna went out with Anthony Brown, 17 years her junior.

She ended the relationship due to the age gap.

Does Shobna have a son?

Shona has a 26-year-old son called Akshay Gulati, but was unable to have any more children.

The former Corrie star has talked openly about how having her son out of wedlock was seen as a total “no-no” by her local community.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, she revealed she moved in with her mother Asha to raise her son Akshay.

But the pair received some backlash from those closest to them.

She says: “Not only had I had a failed marriage, I had a baby out of wedlock whilst I was still separated, and by a person that nobody knew about.

“Then that person was also of a completely different heritage – an African Caribbean background – which given the racism that exists across the board, and especially within Punjabi South Asian culture, that was just an absolute no-no.”

Shobna’s son has followed the TV star into acting, and has so far “done a few plays and really enjoys live theatre”.

How old is Shobna Gulati?

Shobna was born on August 7 1966.

She is currently 54 years old.

Shobna Gulati Celebrity Best Home Cooks
Shobna Gulati has had an eventful love life (Credit: BBC One)

Where is Shobna from?

Shobna was born in Oldham, Lancashire, to Hindu Indian parents.

She grew up in the Salcombe area of Openshaw, Manchester, where the actress Sarah Lancashire was a friend.

The actress has a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern politics from the University of Manchester.


Celebrity Best Home Cook continues on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday February 03 2021.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor