Report by Alex Evans, Reporter
Friday, August 17, 2012
RENOWNED international stand-up Omid Djalili is promising a comedic extravaganza when he puts on a show at the Grand Pier in Weston next month.
The popular comedian and actor is making his return to touring in Weston after more than six months without gigging – and shared his thoughts with the Mercury ahead of the show.
Omid said: “I haven’t done stand-up since February, so people are going to see a fresh and newer me.
“Be prepared for a lot of new material and old material as well, back by popular demand. It’s going to be a big extravaganza.”
Djalili, who came on holiday to Weston with his family eight years ago, explained how he got into comedy after being visited by a TV star at his school play.
He added: “Mel Smith, from Not The Nine O’Clock News, which was a big show at the time, came to our school play to inspire the kids at my inner-city London comprehensive.
“He saw me on stage and said ‘you are very funny, you should be a comedian’. He’s quite a big guy, and I think I’ve got the fat gene, so I thought, I can see myself being like him.”
But it has not always been easy for Djalili. He described his struggles at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the early 1990s.
He said: “When I first did stand-up, I was really bad. I was described as ‘appalling’, ‘ill-mannered’ and ‘trite’.
“I was at a gig where about three people turned up at this tent, which was nowhere near the main stage, and my manager said ‘there’s no business like no business’, and I spent one night handing fliers to Somali and Japanese exchange students.
“The best gig I ever had was in Manchester. It was just this magical night where absolutely everything came together, everything worked. I think everyone left thinking ‘this guy is the best comedian in the world.”
As well as being promised by Bill Clinton he would use his gags in an address and starring in a host of films including Gladiator, The Mummy and Pirates Of The Caribbean, Djalili has also turned his hand to the West End, starring in What The Butler Saw earlier this year.
He has also written and directed a short film, set to debut on Sky television this Christmas.
Omid Djalili will be on the Grand Pier on September 14. Tickets, priced £25-32.50, are available on 01934 620238 or via www.grandpier.co.uk