Shobna will soon be seen as Ray in the upcoming feature film Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. She became a household name for her role as Anita in Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies and as Sunita in Coronation Street. She trained at Manchester University, Trinity Laban, Goldsmith’s College, London, Darpana Academy for Performing Arts, India and has a postgraduate in teaching dance from Middlesex University.
Theatre credits include: Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith); Richard II (The Globe); Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (The Apollo Theatre and tour ); Daisy Pulls It Off (The Park); Anita & Me (Birmingham Rep/Touring Consortium); Grease (Leicester Curve); Mamma Mia International Tour 2015- 2016, Jon Godber’s April in Paris (Derby Playhouse/ National Tour); B!rth, Hunger for Trade, Come Closer Pretend You Have Big Buildings, Cafe Vesuvio (Royal Exchange, Manchester); How High is Up?, The Jungle Book, (West Yorkshire Playhouse); dinnerladies, Girl’s Night (National Tour), The Vagina Monologues (Mark Goucher Ltd); Romeo and Juliet, Crazy Lady (Leicester Haymarket, Contact Theatre ); The Mikado (New, Vic Stoke and Stephen Joseph Theatre) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tara Arts/National Tour) , Moti Roti Puttli Chunni, Blaggers, and D’yer Eat with Your Fingers? (Theatre Royal, Stratford East).
Film credits include: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (New Regency/Film4/Warp Films); Finding Fatimah (British Muslim TV); Junkhearts, (Dir. Tinge Krishnan) and BAFTA award winning short film, Shadowscan (BFI/Channel4/Disruptive Element Films).
She has also written and directed the critically acclaimed comedy show for young women The Masala Girls.
Television credits include: My Name is Leon (BBC); Murder They Hope (UKTV); 4Stories – On the Edge (Blacklight Productions); Doctor Who (BBC); Moving On (LA Productions); River City (BBC Scotland); Treasure Champs (CBeebies) Casualty (BBC); Doctors (BBC); Coronation Street (ITV), Hold The Sunset (BBC), In the Club (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), New Street Law (BBC), Magnolia (BBC), Paranoid (ITV1/Red/Netflix), You, Me and Them (UKTV Gold), The Slammer (CBBC), Jackanory (CBBC), Bedtime Stories (Cbeebies), Coming Up (Channel 4), Where The Heart Is (ITV1) and dinnerladies (BBC). As a panellist she was seen on Call My Bluff, Have I Got News For You, Countdown and was a regular on ITV’s Loose Women until 2014. She was a semi- finalist in Celebrity Masterchef for the BBC had appeared in Soapstar Superstar and Stars in their Eyes for ITV and soon to be seen in 2021 in Best Home Cook (BBC).
Documentaries include: RTS award winning River Walks (BBC1), Empire’s Children (Channel 4), Back In Time For Tea (BBC2), Disappearing and Discovering Britain (More).
Shobna has also worked extensively as a dancer and choreographer in regional theatres and also in community and education settings across the UK. Between 1992 and 1994 she was a dance animateur for Yorkshire and Humberside.
She has written her critically acclaimed memoir, Remember Me? Discovering my mother as she lost her memory, published by Octopus Books in September 2020.
She has an honorary doctorate from The University of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam University and is Chancellor of The Children’s University, Oldham. She is a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester.