Sharat Sardana passes away aged 40

London, Jan 31: Sharat Sardana, the writer of Emmy Award-winning comedy ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, has died after contracting a rare infection. He was 40.

With shows like ‘The Kumars at Number 42’, Sardana helped bring British Asian comedy to mainstream audiences.

A long-time collaborator with actors Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sardana died at Whipps Cross University Hospital on Tuesday, the east London hospital said.

Jon Plowman, executive producer of BBC Comedy, said: "It`s a very sad day for comedy to lose a writer who managed to help comedy break through in the way that Goodness Gracious Me did.

"Sharat began his career at the BBC as a very insightful and enthusiastic script editor and went on to co-create, with his writing partner Richard Pinto, the ground-breaking comedy that gave us the British Asian perspective on the world.

"He never forgot that comedy should be funny first and provocative second. This is a truly shocking loss."

It is believed that Sardana collapsed at his father``s home, suffering from a streptococcal virus, a news daily reported.

His cousin, Anita Kirpal, said he brought family humour to a wider audience.

She said: "We are shocked and devastated by this tragic loss. Sharat was always very witty. He was able to take family jokes and make them work with a wide audience."

Sardana, who was born in Wanstead, achieved fame and fortune after writing the popular BBC series Goodness Gracious Me. He then went on to write and produce The Kumars At No 42. Most of his characters were based on his family members.