Omid Djalili (Persian: امید جلیلی; born 30 September 1965) is a British stand-up comedian, actor, television producer, voice actor and writer.
Djalili at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
|Born||30 September 1965|
Chelsea, London, England
|Medium||Film, stand-up, television|
|Subject(s)||Religion, race, culture, stereotypes, human interaction|
Early life and education
Djalili was born in Chelsea, London, to Iranian Baháʼí parents. He is a Baháʼí. He attended Holland Park School and then the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, studying English and theatre studies.
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.
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. The Omid Djalili Show started on BBC1 on 17 November 2007. The series was 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.
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.
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.
Djalili appeared in the short-lived NBC sitcom The Paul Reiser Show, which was a midseason replacement for the 2010–11 television season.
He appeared in the second season of Thunderbirds Are Go in October 2016 as Horse Williams.
Djalili provided his voice in the 2015 stop motion animated comedy Shaun the Sheep Movie.
In 2008, he was an official festival judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival. In June 2010, Djalili appeared in a Meltdown Festival concert 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.
In 2019 Djalili was criticised for making disparaging remarks about the Welsh language on Twitter. In response to the unfavourable reaction, Djalili added, "Going to suggest to Sioned a show with the superb replies," referring to Sioned Wiliam, Head of Comedy at BBC Radio, but declined to apologise. Nigel Owens said that the joke "just wasn't funny", calling it a "cheap, offensive jibe at a nation's language which has needlessly insulted people who have experience with dyslexia or speech impediments".
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.
|1999||The Mummy||Warden Gad Hassan|
|Notting Hill||Cashier at Coffee Shop|
|The World Is Not Enough||Foreman|
|2001||Spy Game||Beirut: Doumet|
|2002||Anita and Me||Uncle Amman|
|2003||Cross My Heart||Riz|
|The Calcium Kid||Herbie Bush|
|Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||Kaji|
|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|
|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||Himself|
|2018||Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again||Greek customs officer|
|2018||The Nutcracker and the Four Realms||Cavalier|
|1996||The Friday Night Armistice||Himself|
|1998||Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round||Various|
|Barking||Various Role||2 episodes|
|1999||The Ruth Rendell Mysteries||Mr Kaiafas||Episode: "The Lake of Darkness"|
|The Bill||Yilmaz Demirtas|
|Coming Soon||Amir Hassan||TV Movie|
|1999–2001||Small Potatoes||Hoss||13 episodes|
|Jason and the Argonauts||Castor||2 episodes|
|2001||So What Now?||Ken|
|2002–03||Dinotopia: the Series||Zipeau (voice)||10 episodes|
|Lenny Henry in Pieces||2 episodes|
|2003||Between Iraq and a Hard Place||Iraqi Television Host||TV Movie|
|2003–04||Whoopi||Nasim Khatenjami||22 episodes|
|2004||Live at the Apollo||himself|
|2005||Chopra Town||Ali Ergun||TV Movie|
|One Night Stand||himself||HBO|
|My Family and Other Animals||Spiro||TV Movie|
|2006||Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive||himself|
|Jack Dee's Lead Balloon||Mr. Tilak|
|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|
|2007–09||The Omid Djalili Show||Himself, presenter, various roles||12 episodes|
|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||7 episodes|
|2012||Omid Djalili's Little Cracker||Tobacconist|
|2014||The Great Sport Relief Bake Off||Guest presenter||one episode|
|Question Time||Guest panellist|
|2015–16||Dickensian||Mr Venus||11 episodes|
|2016||Insert Name Here||Guest panellist|
|The One Show||Guest presenter||1 episode|
|2016–18||Stan Lee's Lucky Man||Kamil||9 episodes|
|2017||Thunderbirds Are Go||Horse Williams||voice; 1 episode|
|2018||All Together Now Celebrities||Contestant||2nd Place|
|2019||Queens of Mystery|
|2019||His Dark Materials||Dr. Lanselius||Episode: "Armour"|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony||Yusuf Amir|
|50 Cent: Blood on the Sand||Eddie|
- No Agenda: Live at the London Palladium (26 November 2007)
- Live in London (16 November 2009)
- Tour of Duty (19 November 2012)
- Omid Djalili profile IMDb
- "Omid Djalili: Everybody's fool". The Independent. 12 February 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- Kadivar, Darius (3 December 2007). "In The Arena With Omid Djalili". Payvand's Iran News. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- Djalili, Omid (20 August 2007). "TV Heaven, Telly Hell" (Interview). Interviewed by Sean Lock.
- "Comedian Ivor Dembina". Chortle Comedy Website. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "Scottish Theatre Archive - Event Details". University of Glasgow Scottish Theatre Archive. 23 August 1990. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- "Have I Got News for You". BBC Programmes. BBC. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- Crossley, Becki (20 September 2018). "Omid Djalili brings 'Schmuck For A Night' to Wilton's Music Hall, London". The List. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Iqbal, Nosheen (11 February 2009). "Omid Djalili pockets Fagin role in Oliver!". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- Omid Djalili Money Supermarket adverts on YouTube (Youtube.com). Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "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.
- "Schools – Teachers – Off By Heart Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!"". BBC. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Fiddler on the Roof". Chichester Festival Theatre. 2 December 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- His Dark Materials (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb, retrieved 24 November 2019
- "Philharmonia Orchestra: Hovhaness". Southbank Centre. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Omid Djalili causes anger with Welsh language joke". BBC News. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- Nigel Owens (6 July 2019). "Omid Djalili's joke about the Welsh language just wasn't funny". WalesOnline. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- Fenners meets Omid Djalili, ESPN (UK), 19 April 2010
- "Omid Djalili at the Edinburgh International Book Festival". Youtube.com. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "Xbox World 360 Preview". GTANet. 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- Bridgett, Rob. "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand: Audio Postmortem". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
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