Jeff Mirza

Jeffrey Mirza (born 3 February 1964) is an English stand-up comedian and actor of British-Pakistani descent.

Jeff Mirza
Birth nameJeffery Mirza
Born (1964-02-03) 3 February 1964
East London, England
MediumStand-up, Television, Film
NationalityBritish
Years active1995–present
GenresObservational comedy, Character comedy
Subject(s)Islamic humour, Stereotypes
Websitewww.jeffmirza.com

Early life

Mirza was born and brought up in East End of London, England[1][2] to Pakistani parents.[3] At the age of 14, Mirza had his first stint at comedy when he told anecdotes about his summer holidays for assembly at his Ilford Comprehensive School. After graduating from the University of Westminster with a Batchelors Civil Engineering degree and with a Master's degree in Engineering,[3] he informally began performing with a comedy groups called The Men from ChaCha." One of their famous sketches was a dance parody of the Chippendales called "The Chappattidales".[4]

Stand-up career

In 1993, Mirza won the Hackney Empire East West Quest and he went solo into stand-up and since then has not looked back. He has written pieces for magazines and is well known on the London comedy circuit.[4] In 1995, he was a finalist in the BBC Open Mic Award for The Stand up Show at the Edinburgh festival.[5] The same year (1995) he co-starred in a full length show with Scottish Comedian Brian Higgins in a show called 'Haggis & Curry'. Since that initial success he gave up his job as a structural engineer and began work as a full-time stand-up comedian. In the Asian comedy field he has worked with and for the 'One Nation. ..lnnit!' Team based at Watermans in Brentford and has also played all the major comedy clubs and is a regular at Jongleurs Comedy Clubs.[5]

In 2003, he performed his show Walking With Muslims at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[6] The show 'Walking with Muslims' coincided with the 2003 Iraq War and gained world wide acclaim as Jeff Mirza appeared as dictator Saddam Hussein who was on the run at the time. He has played the comedy circuit in London including Jongleurs and The Comedy Store.[7][8] He has performed all over the world, and is the first British Muslim comedian ever to perform stand up comedy to sell out shows in Saudi Arabia.

He is regularly involved with interfaith dialogue between different communities and often called in to lighten-up and moderate contentious debates between multi-faith conservatives.[9]

In July 2011, Mirza toured four UK cities[10] in the Peace Youth and Community Trust's (PYCT) first Muslim Comedy Tour, alongside Humza Arshad, Prince Abdi and Nabil Abdul Rashid.[11][12][13] From June to 28 August 2011, he presented a series of eight programmes in the world's first interfaith game show called Faith Off on the Islam Channel at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh.[9][14] He also performed his show Jihad: Heresy Or Hearsay.[15][16]

Mirza is now developing a television sitcom and writing new material for a world tour.[8]

Acting career

Mirza's film credits include Bend It Like Beckham, Tomb Raider,[7] It Was an Accident[8][17] and Desi Boyz.[9]

His television appearances include White Teeth, Chuckle Vision, Murder in Mind and Doctors.[9]

Comedy style and reception

Mirza challenges stereotypes in his acclaimed live shows.[18]

"The sharpest Asian stand up on the alternative comedy circuit,[18] but also Britain's best loved Asian comedian" – Time Out.[11][12][19]

"Excellent" – Andrew Martin, London Evening Standard. "Europe's Top Asian Comedian" – Andy Beckett, The Guardian.[7] "Sharp witted rising star" – William Cook, The Guardian.[7] "Comedy jihad. His warm, incisive, wit-strewn comedy celebrates the absurd" – The Guardian.[18]

Awards and recognition

In 1995, reached the finals off the BBC Open Mic Award.[11][12]

In 2001, Mirza won the "Best Comedian" award in the BT Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy Awards.[20] In 2003,[7] he won the Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy Comedy award which was held at London's Dorchester Hotel where the chief guest was Sir Richard Attenborough. The other nominees were Richard Blackwood, Felix Dexter and Gina Yashere.[8] In 2018 Jeff Mirza was Awarded a BEFFTA Legends Award.

Personal life

Mirza is a West Ham United football fan.[21] He is married and has a son (born 16 August 2017).

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Big Kids Doctor 1 episode: "Finding Hypnotist"
2001 Judge John Deed Dr. Wahid 1 episode: "Hidden Agenda"
2002 The Bill Shop Manager 1 episode: "Shop Manager"
My Hero Pilot 1 episode: "Zero Tolerance"
White Teeth Mo 4 episodes: "The Return of Magid Iqbal", "The Trouble with Millat",
"The Temptation of Samad Iqbal", "The Peculiar Second Marriage of Archie Jones"
2003 Murder in Mind Manji Patel 1 episode: "Cornershop"
2004 Top Buzzer Ali / Jaffi 1 episode: "Lee's Dinner"
Dirty War Asian Landlord TV film
2005 Trial & Retribution Juror 1 episode: "The Lovers: Part 2"
2006 ChuckleVision Demolition Foreman 1 episode: "Off the Cuff"
2007 A Class Apart Shopkeeper TV film
2008 Doctors Jaswad Mukherjee 1 episode: "Making a Splash"
2009 Coming Up The Newsagent 1 episode: "Adha Cup"
2011 Doctors Jaswad Mukherjee 1 episode: "Unkindness of Strangers"
2012 Parents Shop Assistant 2 episodes: "#1.5", "#1.3"
2015 Cucumber Mr. Bhose 1 episode: "#1.2"
Moone Boy Gundeep 1 episode: "Bells 'n' Smells"
2016 Plebs Tanjit 1 episode: "The Weatherist"
Fleabag Shop Owner 1 episode: "#1.2"
People Just Do Nothing Check-out assistant 1 episode: "Ipswich"

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2000 It Was an Accident Tariq
2004 Ne quittez pas! Le chauffeur de taxi londonien
2005 The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse Asian Dad
2006 Infinite Justice Inspector Akhtar
Bigga Than Ben Dennis
2009 Mad Sad and Bad Dillip
2011 Swinging with the Finkels Indian Man
Desi Boyz Shop owner
2012 Seven Lucky Gods Passport Counterfeiter
2013 Hummingbird Asian shopkeeper
Der Koch Mahit
2017 Arifa Hameed

See also

References

  1. "Fringe comedian in Gaddafi costume attacked with bottle". BBC News. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  2. "Gaddafi comic Jeff Mirza attacked at Edinburgh Fringe". STV. 21 August 2011. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  3. "An interview with comedian Jeff Mirza". Alwaleed Centre. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  4. "Jeff Mirza". Jongleurs. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  5. "Jeff Mirza". Comedy CV. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  6. "Jeff Mirza: Walking With Muslims". Chortle. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  7. "Jeff Mirza". Whatever Artists Management. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  8. "Jeff Mirza". The Comedy Club. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  9. "Jeff Mirza". Usurp. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  10. "British Muslim Comedy Tour in Your City, "Innit Bruv"". Muslimness. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  11. Dakin, Melanie (14 July 2011). "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Croydon: Croydon Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  12. Dakin, Melanie (14 July 2011). "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Watford Observer. Watford. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  13. Dakin, Melanie (14 July 2011). "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Harrow: Harrow Times. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  14. "A test of faith". 31 (6). ThirdWay. Summer 2008. p. 5. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  15. "Jeff Mirza's Jihad; Heresy Or Hearsay". Chortle. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  16. "Jeff Mirza's Jihad: Heresy Or Hearsay". British Comedy Guide. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  17. "Jeff Mirza". Chilli Stars. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  18. "Jeff Mirza". Arts Depot. 1 February 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  19. "Jeff Mirza at The Drum". The Drum Jongleurs. 25 September 2012. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  20. "Jeff Mirza". The Muslim Council of Britain. 1 September 2003. Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  21. "Jeff Mirza". Metro. 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
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