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Forces War Records Blog

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? - COMEDIAN AND ACTOR ADIL RAY

Adil Ray, OBE (born 26 April 1974) is a British actor, comedian and radio and television presenter. He stars in the BBC One comedy Citizen Khan, which he created and co-writes, as well as presenting on various BBC radio stations.

In this episode of the BBC genealogy documentry Adil Ray chokes back tears when he learns about the racial prejudice his grandmother suffered – and how she was forcibly taken away from her family.

Adil travels to Kenya to discover how his grandfather Meraj Din arrived there aged 16 in 1912 from British India, now Pakistan, to work as a clerk on the new railway. His great-grandmother was African and her children were removed from her by her Asian in-laws after the death of her husband.

He says: “I know from my mum that in the early days she suffered a lot of prejudice from the Indian community. What she had to endure was quite something.”

“I know she had a massive complex about her African hair which she tried to straighten.”

“It just makes me really sad. To suffer that prejudice and do it with such dignity.”

Adil also meets relatives for the first time in the traditional kingdom of Buganda and investigating a rumoured link to royalty.

Who Do You Think You Are? Continues on BBC1 on Thursdays at 9pm. Adil’s episode is screened on July 27.

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