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Bhavna Limbachia
Bhavana Limbachia.jpg
Limbachia in 2015
Bhavna Jayanty Limbachia

(1984-04-21) 21 April 1984 (age 40)
Preston, Lancashire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2012–present
Notable work
Citizen Khan (2012–2016)
Coronation Street (2016–2019)
Darren Kuppan
(m. 2018)

Bhavna Jayanty Limbachia (born 21 April 1984) is an English actress. She is known for her roles as Alia Khan in the BBC comedy Citizen Khan (2012–2016) and Rana Habeeb in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street (2016–2019).

Early life and education

Limbachia was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1984 to an Indian-born mother and a Kenyan-born father. She is a Hindu.

Limbachia studied photography, fashion and textiles at college, then moved onto a degree course in Costume Design at Bretton Hall, an affiliate college of the University of Leeds.

Before going into acting, Limbachia worked in costume departments on several film sets including Chicken Tikka Masala in 2005, Bradford Riots in 2006 as a costume trainee, and All Day Breakfast in 2008. In 2010, she set up her own business designing and selling vintage clothing and accessories.

Limbachia took an office with Trading Standards and saved up money to do an acting course at the Manchester School of Acting.


Through drama school, Limbachia landed her first role in theatre in the play Rafta Rafta, written by Ayub Khan Din who also wrote East Is East.

Limbachia made her television debut in 2012 playing the character Alia Khan in the BBC comedy series Citizen Khan. The character wears a hijab, tight jeans and tops, and a lot of make-up.

In February 2016, Limbachia joined the long-running ITV soap opera, Coronation Street, playing Rana Habeeb as a love interest for character Zeedan Nazir. In January 2019, Limbachia announced her departure from the show, with Rana being killed off later in the year. She departed in the episode broadcast on 20 March 2019.

Rana was the show's first muslim lesbian character and her partnership with Faye Brookes, who plays her lover Kate Connor has been highlighted amongst fans and the community. ..... The Rana and Kate storyline was named as one of the Top 10 LGBT+ Media Moments in the British LGBT Awards 2019.

Personal life

Limbachia married actor Darren Kuppan in July 2018 at Thornton Manor in a British and Indian ceremony.


Year Title Role Notes
2012–2016 Citizen Khan Alia Khan
2013 Doctors Anita Achari
2014 Casualty Suraya Afzal
2014 Pramface Nicola
2014 Mount Pleasant Hostess
2015 Cuffs PC Misha Baig
2015 Horrible Histories Various
2015 Tez Ilyas's Christmas Sofia Christmas special
2016–2019 Coronation Street Rana Habeeb Regular role
2021 Inside No. 9 Jo Episode: "Hurry Up and Wait"
2022 Ridley Geri Farman All 4 episodes
2022-present Brassic Meena

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2016 TV Choice Awards Best Soap Newcomer Nominated
2016 Digital Spy Reader Awards Best Newcomer Fourth
2017 Digital Spy Reader Awards Best Soap Relationship (shared with Faye Brookes) Second
2018 The British Soap Awards Best Actress Nominated
2018 The British Soap Awards Best On-Screen Partnership (shared with Brookes) Nominated
2018 TV Choice Awards Best Soap Actress Nominated
2018 Inside Soap Awards Best Partnership (shared with Brookes) Nominated
2018 I Talk Telly Awards Best Soap Partnership (shared with Brookes) Nominated
2019 The British Soap Awards Best Actress Nominated
2019 Inside Soap Awards Best Exit Shortlisted
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