INTERVIEW: Omid Djalili

Omid Djalili.
Omid Djalili.
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Iranian comedian Omid Djalili is bringing his new show to the Platform, Morecambe this Friday (October 3). Here Omid speaks to The Visitor ahead of his ‘Iranalamadingdong’ comedy night.

Q: Is stand-up your first love?

OMID: I’ve done lots of different things and enjoyed them but stand-up, when it goes well - it often doesn’t - is definitely a love. There’s something deeply satisfying about a good gig.

Q: So you feel very much at home in the stand-up arena?

OMID: When I was working on Moonfleet last summer Ray Winstone told me: “I don’t feel I come alive on set until I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook.” Similarly, I don’t really feel I’ve come to life unless I’ve triggered laughter from a crowd.

Q: Do you feel fired up on stage?

OMID: Not really fired up, but sometimes I am genuinely upset when a show is over. I would love to go on all night… in a way I understand Ken Dodd who famously starts at 8pm and sometimes finishes at 2am.

Q: What themes will you be addressing in the new show?

OMID: Growing older. We all struggle with it. As Dave Allen once said: “I enjoy getting older. I have to because there’s no choice.” When you hit your 40s you understand life better, but at the same time your body is more prone to fail. So you have to find a way of joining your received wisdom with physical prowess. A lot of men who hit 40 try to do things that make them feel more alive because they want to prove themselves. That’s why I did Splash! I wanted to do something out of the box, stretch my courage and prove I was still a young man at heart even though my bits were dropping off.

Q: Am I right your act has become less overly political these days?

OMID: I don’t feel the same pressure to talk about things in the news any more. On Twitter, comics feel they constantly have to comment on things that are trending and put their oar in. But nowadays if everyone is talking about fracking I’ll just talk about 1970s singing duo Peters and Lee.

Q: Do your recent visits to the US also inform the act?

OMID: Yes. I love America. It’s very hard trying to obtain a visa to work in the US. My work Visa was delayed so badly I nearly missed my flight. Maybe referencing Pablo Escobar and Osama Bin Laden on the form didn’t help.

The show starts at 8pm and tickets are on sale now for £23. Buy tickets online at www.lancaster.gov.uk/platform-tickets or call 01524 582803 or visit the Visitor Information Centre, Station Buildings, Marine Road Central, Morecambe.