Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar has said that a lack of diversity on screen can lead to people having an “us and them” mentality.

He told the That Gaby Roslin Podcast that representation on screen should not just be viewed in terms of race and culture.

Discussing representation in television, he said: “You have to see it to be it, whether it’s us as British Asians on TV or strong women being confident or people of a certain age who are confident and out there.

Paddington 2 Premiere – London
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“All of that can have an impact.

“That’s ultimately to me what representation and diversity means, it’s not just about colour of skin or culture, it’s about everything else, gender, age, regions.

“Otherwise, we’re hardwired to regard things as us and them.”

Bhaskar also discussed the success of comedy Goodness Gracious Me, which he starred in alongside his wife Meera Syal.

Letters Live series – London
(Isabel Infantes/PA)

The programme ran from 1998 to 2001 on BBC Two after originally airing on Radio 4.

Discussing the comedy, he said: “It’s a case of right place at the right time.

“Five years earlier I don’t think anyone would have commissioned it, and five years later someone else would have done something like that.

“We placed the comedy at the forefront rather than our politics.”

That Gaby Roslin Podcast, produced by Cameo Productions, is available with new episodes dropping weekly every Monday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all podcast streaming platforms.