Saira Choudhry in Life

Saira Choudhry shines in BBC drama ‘Life’ by Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett

The actress stars as Saira in BBC drama Life, from Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett

Saira Choudhry is part of the ensemble cast currently starring in the BBC drama Life, from Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett.

In Life, the actress plays the impulsive and beautiful Saira Malik.

Saira is on holiday with her friends when she meets uptight David (played by Adrian Lester).

The pair are immediately drawn to each other and the chemistry is palpable when they bumped into each other again.

David and Saira in LIfe
David and Saira – played by Adrian Lester and Saira Choudhry – are drawn to each other in Life (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Life BBC: Your questions answered about the new Doctor Foster spin-off

Viewers soon learn that David is recently widowed, and very much grieving for his wife who died in a tragic accident just weeks before.

But who is the actress behind the character?

Who is Saira Choudhry?

Saira Choudhry, 31, is a British actress from Middleton in Greater Manchester.

Saira is also Managing Director of the drama company she set up, called TV Talent Drama Dance Academy.

She’s proud to say that some of the children on her books have ended up in Peaky Blinders and Creeped Out.

The actress describes herself as a dog lover, and is currently single.

Saira Choudhry in Life
Saira Choudhry stars as the impulsive Saira in Life (Credit: BBC/Drama Republic/James Slack)

What else has Saira Choudhry been in?

The actress is best known for portraying Anita Roy in Hollyoaks.

Saira joined the cast of the C4 soap in 2008 and left in 2011.

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She went on to star in Crime Stories, Doctors, Porridge and Cold Feet.

Her next big memorable role was in No Offence between 2015 and 2018.

She played PC Tegan Thompson in the police comedy.

Saira Choudhry as Naila in Corrie
Michelle Keegan lookalike Saira Choudhry as Naila in Corrie (Credit: ITV)

Has Saira been in Corrie?

Saira will be recognisable to Coronation Street fans, too – and not just because of her striking resemblance to former Corrie star Michelle Keegan.

Saira portrayed Naila Badal in the ITV soap in seven episodes over the course of six years – from 2013 to 2019.

Naila is a journalist employed by the Weatherfield Gazette.

She first arrived on the cobbles when she visited Nick’s Bistro for their first – and only – student night.

Naila received an anonymous tip-off that there was a drug deal taking place in the Bistro… The resulting news report portrayed the establishment in a bad light.

She has since drifted in and out of the Street, once arriving to pursue a story that Sean Tully and his boyfriend Billy had been turned out of a Peak District pub for being gay.

Corrie viewers have often pointed out the similarities between actress Saira Choudhry and Michelle Keegan, who played Tina McIntyre in the ITV soap.

Saira Choudhry in Hollyoaks as Anita Roy
Saira Choudhry in Hollyoaks – far right – as Anita Roy (Credit: Lime Pictures)

Are Saira Choudhry and Michelle Keegan related?

Saira is not related to Michelle despite the uncanny resemblance.

They are both from the Manchester area, both in their early 30s and have both starred in Coronation Street!


Life continues on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC1. All episodes are available to watch on iPlayer

Do you think Saira Choudhry looks like Michelle Keegan? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor

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