Given that Meera Syal has had such a varied career, I knew there would be parts of this interview I wouldn't completely understand. The conversations twisted from her personal experiences to the horror of reality TV, but she was always entertaining and certainly didn't disappoint.
Laughter filled the room during the discussion as Syal regaled us with stories, but while the talk was light and entertaining it was also illuminating as she spoke of her motivations and her struggle for roles that represented the woman she was.
She pointed out while stage roles were filled by people from any background or ethnicity, the same could not be said for television. If she wanted to play strong, independent Asian women she was going to have to create them; if she wanted things to change she was going to have to change them.
Regardless of where you come from or what you want from life, if you want something enough you have to fight for it, you have to actively go out and get it not wait for it to come to you. Syal's interview was my last event at Cultural eXchanges and in many ways I think the discussion mirrored the festival's purpose- to inspire and excite a generation to do something they're passionate about.
Cultural eXchanges has certainly opened my eyes and jump-started my brain- I can’t wait for next year.