Shobna Gulati: ‘I’ve played the Queen, Thatcher and the Virgin Mary – on radio’

As she publishes a moving memoir, the Corrie, Dinnerladies and West End star talks about her three-decade battle with typecasting – and almost dying of Covid-19

Shobna Gulati is speaking about this past horrendous year in surprisingly serene tones. Her mother died last autumn, and a few months later she contracted Covid-19 along with a secondary infection that turned out to be pneumonia. It might have killed her had it not been for a swift diagnosis. “That doctor saved my life,” she says.

Coronavirus left her holed up at home for several weeks, on her own and only opening the front door to gulp in the fresh air. Yet in the maelstrom of grief, illness and social isolation, she managed to write a book, published this month. Remember Me? is a memoir about her mother, Asha Gulati, an indomitable, Southport-born woman who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017. Gulati became her live-in carer at their Manchester family home, juggling life as an actor, dancer and TV presenter with the daily unpredictability of that care.

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