Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Kumars at No.42, The (2001-03)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Series Year 2001 - Episode: Ben Fogle/ Melinda Messenger

The Kumars, minus Sanjeev, are in the kitchen. Madhuri is surprised to find ladies' underwear among Sanjeev's laundry.

Sanjeev returns, revealing a mis-spelt transfer tattoo of his girlfriend's name, much to his father's consternation. Sanjeev is trying to be Brando and he verbally spars with them in 'rebel' style over his mother's concerns that he didn't finish his dinner and his father's disapproval of Amanda, his girlfriend. His bad boy is juxtaposed with the good boy, as first guest Ben Fogle arrives.

Ben is hijacked by Sanjeev's parents, Ben is almost overwhelmed by Sushila's over-friendly greeting. Sanjeev and his parents continue to bicker, slipping out of English for the more heated exchanges.

Sanjeev enters the studio and introduces Ben, accompanied by the family and the food. Ashwin is shocked to discover Ben wasn't paid to do Castaway. They discuss why there were no Indians on the island; the reason they came to Britain in the first place was not to go "back to nature".

Ben is continually put-off by Sanjeev's searching through his cue cards for questions. The family gush over Ben, making Sanjeev even more insecure. Sushila proves to Ben she can talk dirty in Iberian tones. Madhuri is still concerned with the unfinished dinner and Ashwin with the cheap girlfriend. Sanjeev is upset Ben's career is taking up too much airtime and that the real celebrities (ie him) will be squeezed out. He ends the interview, informing Ben.

Amanda rings; while Sanjeev is on the phone Ashwin gets Ben to repair a sign. Second guest Melinda Messenger arrives and is introduced to everyone. Sanjeev reveals he has split up with his girlfriend, insisting it was a joint decision and he's fine, although the evidence suggest otherwise.

Still upset, Sanjeev returns to the studio and introduces Melinda, accompanied by the family and Ben, squashed between them on the sofa. Sanjeev asks Melinda her opinion on Amanda's complaint, that he didn't have "cha-pow".

Ashwin likes that Melinda was once an office manager, despite mention of her Page 3 roots. The others silence Sushila's attempts to tell her relevant "cha-pow" stories. As the family consoles sulky Sanjeev, the show breaks into chaos.

Back in the house, the guests leave.