Charges against comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli for non-recent sexual offenses

The Scottish comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli has been arrested by police in Scotland and charged in connection with non-recent sexual offences.

Originally a BBC Scotland graduate trainee, Kohli, 54, has presented a number of programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, UKTV and other broadcasters, winning Royal Television Society and Bafta awards for one children’s programme.

Kohli had been released and would appear in court at a later date, Police Scotland said in a brief statement. “A 54-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with allegations of non-recent sexual offences,” the force said. “He has been released on an undertaking to appear in court at a later date. A report of the circumstances has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

Born to Indian Punjabi parents in London and raised in Glasgow, Kohli broke into the comedy circuit at the Edinburgh fringe in 2009, performing a one-man show in which he cooked curries on stage.

An occasional newspaper columnist, including for the Guardian, he was also runner-up to Matt Dawson in Celebrity MasterChef in 2006 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018.

His brother, Sanjeev Kohli, is a writer and actor who stars in the BBC Scotland soap opera River City. In 2005 the pair co-wrote and co-starred in the short-lived Channel 4 comedy Meet the Magoons, centred on a family of Punjabi curry house owners who live in Glasgow.

He has been a regular radio presenter and programme host, including a seven-series run of Radio 4 shows called Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch, where he travelled the UK and cooked lunch for “people with remarkable stories”.

Much of his journalism has drawn on his cultural heritage as a Punjabi Scot, including the television documentary In Search of the Tartan Turban, which explored his identity, winning a Children’s Bafta. In 2010, Radio 2 aired a series exploring the spiritual life of six cities.

His prominence has translated into prestigious roles in arts and cultural bodies: in 2008 he was a judge for the Man Booker literature prize, he has served as a board member for the National Theatre of Scotland, and in 2017 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

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