Rajesh Kumar Jhanji
24 February 1970
|Occupation||Film & TV Actor, Podcast Co-Host, Club Night Promoter.|
|Spouse(s)||Jo Jhanji (2010-present)|
|Children||Shannon Jhanji (b. 1994) |
Riley Jhanji (b. 2001)
Rajesh Kumar Jhanji (born 24 February 1970, in Portsmouth) better known by his stage names Raji James is a British Indian actor, club night promoter and podcast co-host, best known for his roles as Ash Ferreira in EastEnders and as DS Vik Singh in The Bill. He also played Abdul Khan in the 1999 film East Is East. Between 2007-2008 he participated in The Ray Peacock Podcast.
Raji James has featured as regular characters in ITV's The Bill (as DS Vik Singh, 2000–02) and the BBC's EastEnders (as Ash Ferreira, 2003–05). He has also had guest star roles in Crocodile Shoes, Waking the Dead and in the 2006 Doctor Who episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday". He went on to appear as Prince Malik in the 2006 BBC adaptation of Robin Hood (episode 10 - Peace? Off!), and starred as Dr Joe Mangeshkar in the thirteen part Australian TV series Kick (2007).
Additional lead guest roles include Waking the Dead, Murder in Mind, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors, Coupling, The Knock, Doomwatch, and Heaven on Earth as well as another series lead role in HTV’s Nuts and Bolts (2002). Most recently he played a recurring role in Coronation Street (2019).
Raji’s theatre work began with the lead role of Frank in the Glasgow Citizens studio production of The Wasp Factory and in their main house as Mowgli in The Jungle Book. His Shakespeare roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sherman Theatre, 1992) Sebastian in Twelfth Night (Bedford Open Air, 1994) and Paris in Romeo and Juliet (Colchester Mercury, 1995). In 1993, Raji was the male lead, Hashim, in the Bush Theatre production of Backstroke in a Crowded Pool. Raji returned to the Glasgow Citizens in 1998 to play Tom Randal in the extravagant revival of Mae West’s The Pleasure Man. Raji was part of the massive cult hit the Ray Peacock Podcast which climaxed at a final Live show at the Leicester Square Theatre on 12 December 2008. On 13 September 2010, Raji joined Ed Gamble and Ray Peacock in a special 50th episode of The Ray Peacock Podcast which was released at the same time as the 50th Episode of The Peacock and Gamble Podcast.
In addition, Raji worked on a collaboration with Video Artist Gail Pickering for her piece “Brutalist Premonition” that was exhibited at the ICA in London and at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol with an additional Live performance featuring Raji.
His film roles include
- UFO (2013) - Mr. Peterson
- Airborne (2012) - Kailash
- Provoked (2007) - Anil
- Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006) - Sanjay
- Brief Encounters (2005) - Doctor
- East Is East (1999) - Abdul Khan
In 2007, James began participating in the Ray Peacock Podcast for iTunes and the UK Comedy Website, chortle.co.uk, alongside the comedians Ray Peacock and Ed Gamble. James is the object of many jokes in the series, mostly about his personal life and how he was on EastEnders but 'ruined it'.
Raji was brought up in Paulsgrove. His early schooling was in Portsmouth and, whilst there, his drama tutor suggested he apply for a place at a drama college, although up until then, Raji had seriously considered joining the RAF as he was a sergeant in the cadet corps at school.
In 1988, he enrolled in the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and graduated with a Graduate Diploma (Degree Equivalent) in 1991. While a student, he worked in the cellar bar at the Woodville Hotel in Woodville Road, Cathays. He was the 'actor in residence' at Portsmouth College's Media Studies and Performing Arts Department, and is currently[when?] working part-time at Bucks New University in High Wycombe, running classes in audition technique, in particular focusing on the performance skills required for classic and modern monologues.
He has two children, Shannon and Riley.