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The son of an Indian Hindu father and Irish Roman Catholic mother, he was raised as a strict Catholic and attended St. James' Catholic High School in Cheadle before his family moved to Cardiff where he attended Radyr Comprehensive School. He went on to train at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama.
Perhaps better known for portraying Dr Fred Fonseca in EastEnders between 1999 and 2000, he has also played roles in Silent Witness, The Bill, City Central, Spooks, Strike Back, Black Mirror and The Syndicate, as well as appearing on the big screen in feature films including East is East, The Guru, Blood Diamond, RocknRolla and West is West. He also scripted and co-produced a 2009 music documentary entitled And the Beat Goes On.
Jimi is married to BBC's Strictly Come Dancing professional Flavia Cacace.