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Omid Djalili (Persian: امید جلیلی‎‎; born 30 September 1965)[1] is a British stand-up comedian, actor, television producer, voice actor and writer of Iranian origin.

Omid Djalili
Omid Djalili 2010 Tribeca TFF Shankbone.jpg
Djalili at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
Born (1965-09-30) 30 September 1965 (age 51)
Chelsea, London, England
Medium Film, stand-up, television
Years active 1995–present
Subject(s) Religion, race, culture, stereotypes, human interaction
Spouse Annabel Knight (1992-present)
Children 3

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Djalili was born in Chelsea, London, to Iranian Bahá'í parents and is a Bahá'í himself.[2][3] He attended Holland Park School and then the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, studying English and Theatre studies.[4]

Comedy careerEdit

 
Djalili performing at the Arts Depot in 2007

The first significant success of his stand-up comedy career was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1995 with "Short, Fat Kebab Shop Owner's Son", followed by "The Arab and the Jew" with Jewish comedian Ivor Dembina in 1996.[5][6]

He has performed in numerous countries, including Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada and the United States, where he had his own HBO Special and did 22 episodes of the NBC sitcom Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg.

He did his part for Comic Relief after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and also in 2005 he appeared on the British TV show Top Gear as a celebrity driver. The same year he broke Edinburgh Festival box office records with over 16,500 ticket sales.

In 2006, Sky Television picked him to be the face of their Saturday night film premières, and he also announced a new tour of the UK called 'No Agenda', from January 2007 until March 2007, covering 23 different dates. The No Agenda tour DVD was released in late 2007.

On 18 March 2007, he was voted by the British public as the 60th best stand-up comedian in a Channel 4 programme "The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups". On 26 October 2007, he guest-presented the BBC political quiz show Have I Got News for You.[7] The Omid Djalili Show started on BBC1 on 17 November 2007. The series is a mix of sketches and stand-up material. A second series was recorded in late 2008 and began broadcast on BBC 1 on 20 April 2009. He performed on We Are Most Amused on ITV1 to mark Prince Charles's 60th birthday in 2008.

Acting careerEdit

Djalili has appeared in a number of films, most notably Gladiator, The Mummy, Mean Machine, The World Is Not Enough, Alien Autopsy, Spy Game, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Grow Your Own, Notting Hill, Mr Nice, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Sex and the City 2 and provides his voice in Over the Hedge.

He had observed that he usually appears as a generic Middle Eastern background character in many of these films, often commenting that he appears in the James Bond film as the "Second Azerbaijani oil pipe attendant". He appeared as Nasim in the U.S. sitcom Whoopi, starring Whoopi Goldberg, and picked up an international film award for Best Supporting Actor in Casanova, starring alongside Heath Ledger and Jeremy Irons.

On 12 February 2009, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced that Djalili would appear as the second Fagin in the new West End production of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Omid took over from Rowan Atkinson, who was contracted until 18 July 2009.[8]

In 2009, Djalili became the voice of Yusuf Amir in the popular gaming series Grand Theft Auto. He took up the role in the Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony spin-off game. In 2010, he starred in the David Baddiel scripted film The Infidel.

In 2010, Djalili starred in a series of TV and cinema adverts for Moneysupermarket.com.[9]

Djalili appeared in the short-lived NBC sitcom The Paul Reiser Show, which was a midseason replacement for the 2010-11 television season.[10]

For the BBC Learning project "Off By Heart Shakespeare", Omid played Lord Capulet from Romeo and Juliet and delivered the speech "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!"[11]

Djalili will appear in the Sky TV adaptation of Moonfleet shooting in Ireland in 2013.[1]

Djalili also appears in the second season of Thunderbirds Are Go in October 2016 as Horse Williams.[citation needed]

Djalili also provided his voice in the 2015 stop motion animated comedy Shaun the Sheep Movie.

Other activitiesEdit

In 2008, he was an official festival judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival. In June 2010, Djalili appeared in a Meltdown Festival concert[12] given by the Philharmonia Orchestra at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, performing the part of the narrator in 'Rubaiyat', a tone poem by American classical composer Alan Hovhaness which sets the words of Omar Khayyám to music. He also appeared on the Graham Norton Show on 17 February 2012, alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Cuba Gooding Jr..

AwardsEdit

Djalili has won awards for his comedy. These include the EMMA Award, Time Out Award, and LWT Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Comedian, Spirit of the Fringe Award as well as the One World Media Award for his Channel 4 documentary, Bloody Foreigners.

He has also been nominated for awards, such as the Perrier Award for Best Comedian, the Gemini Award for Best Comedy Performance of 2003, the South Bank Award for Best Comedy of 2003, the Royal Television Society Award for Best Stand-up, and the European TV Award for his Bloody Foreigners.

Personal lifeEdit

Djalili is a Chelsea fan and has appeared many times in the club's in-house channel, Chelsea TV.[13] He has been married to Annabel Knight since 1992, and they have three children, Isabella, Louis and Daniel.[citation needed]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Mummy Warden Gad Hassan
Notting Hill Cashier at Coffee Shop
Mad Cows George
The World Is Not Enough Foreman
2000 Gladiator Slave Trader
2001 Spy Game Beirut: Doumet
Mean Machine Raj
2002 Anita and Me Uncle Amman
2003 Cross My Heart Riz
2004 Deadlines Abdul Sayyaf
The Calcium Kid Herbie Bush
Modigliani Pablo Picasso
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Kaji
2005 Casanova Lupo
2006 Alien Autopsy Melik
Over the Hedge Tiger voice
2007 Grow Your Own Ali
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Askay / Pusasn
2008 The Love Guru Guru Satchabigknoba
2009 Dead Man Running "Bald Fat Fuck"
2010 The Infidel Mahmud Nasir
Sex and the City 2 Mr. Safir
Animals United Bongo voice
Mr. Nice Saleem Malik
2011 Big Fat Gypsy Gangster Jik Jickkles
2015 Shaun the Sheep Movie Trumper voice
Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Barry Rix
2016 The Comedian's Guide to Survival

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Friday Night Armistice
1998 Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round
The Bill
Barking
1999 The Lake of Darkness
Cleopatra Storemaster
Coming Soon Amir Hassan
Small Potatoes
2000 Black Books Trebor
Jason and the Argonauts Castor
Lenny Henry in Pieces
2001 So What Now? Ken
Baddiel's Syndrome Chef
2002 Relic Hunter Ahmid
Dinotopia: The Series Zipeau voice
2003 Between Iraq and a Hard Place Iraqi Television Host
Whoopi Nasim Khatenjami
2004 Live at the Apollo himself
2005 Age of Awakening
Chopra Town
One Night Stand himself HBO
My Family and Other Animals Spiro
2006 Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive himself
Jack Dee's Lead Balloon
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Perfectionist voice
2007 TV Heaven, Telly Hell Guest
Have I Got News For You himself
Premier League All Stars Chelsea celebrity player
Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy himself
2007, 2009 The Omid Djalili Show Himself, presenter
2008 Never Mind The Buzzcocks himself
Headcases Mohamed Al Fayed
2009 Would I Lie To You? Guest panellist one episode
2011 The Paul Reiser Show Habib
2012 Omid Djalili's Little Cracker
2013 Splash! Contestant
2014 The Great Sport Relief Bake Off Guest presenter one episode
Question Time Guest panellist
2015–16 Dickensian Mr Venus
2016 Insert Name Here Guest panellist
The One Show Guest presenter 1 episode
2016 – present Stan Lee's Lucky Man Kamil 6 episodes
TBA Thunderbirds Are Go Horse Williams voice; 1 episode[14]

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony Yusuf Amir[15]
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Eddie[16]

Stand-up DVDsEdit

  • No Agenda: Live at the London Palladium (26 November 2007)
  • Live in London (16 November 2009)
  • Tour of Duty (19 November 2012)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Omid Djalili profile IMDb
  2. ^ Omid Djalili: Everybody's fool The Independent, 12 February 2006
  3. ^ In The Arena With Omid Djalili By Darius Kadivar, Payvand's Iran News, 3 December 2007
  4. ^ TV Heaven, Telly Hell - Omid Djalili
  5. ^ "Comedian Ivor Dembina". Chortle Comedy Website. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ivor Dembina shows". University of Glasgow Scottish Theatre Archive. 
  7. ^ "Have I Got News for You". BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Omid Djalili pockets Fagin role in Oliver!", The Guardian article, 11 February 2009
  9. ^ "Omid Djalili Money Supermarket adverts on YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  10. ^ "NBC Unveils 2010-11 Primetime Schedule Accented by Five New Comedies, Seven New Dramas and New Alternative Program". The Futon Critic. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Schools - Teachers - Off By Heart Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!"". BBC. 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Philharmonia Orchestra: Hovhaness". Southbank Centre. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  13. ^ Fenners meets Omid Djalili, ESPN (UK), 19 April 2010
  14. ^ https://www.thunderbirds.com/en/news/article/19
  15. ^ "GRAND THEFT AUTO IV - Xbox World 360 Preview (News)". Gta4.net. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  16. ^ "Features - 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand: Audio Postmortem". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 

External linksEdit