Stand-up comedian Omid Djalili talks Towie, Mamma Mia 2 and his upcoming Brentwood show
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 January 2019
As I do with all of my interviews, while waiting to ring comedian Omid Djalili, I wrote down a list of questions I wanted to ask him about his latest tour Schmuck For A Night, which will be making its way to Brentwood next month - however, within minutes of us chatting, I realised this was a complete waste of time.
“Me and Colin Firth have an ongoing email exchange”, he jokes.
I slowly slide my pre-prepared list of questions into the bin and ask him to divulge further.
“I did a charity thing for his mum once and not long after, he emailed me saying “I had a dream about you last night, you gave me a lap dance”.
“I replied saying, “I had the same dream, your cheque bounced. I’m calling my lawyer.”.
“We then met each other again when we were doing Mamma Mia 2 together and nothing was said of the emails but then when I got back, I got another email from him being like “have you called your lawyer yet?” and I’m thinking I’m going to have to get a lawyer for this imaginary lap dance!”
If you haven’t already seen it (in which case, you need to make it your next watch), Mamma Mia 2 was released last year to everyone’s delight and welcomed back its main cast including Meryl Streep, Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth.
But this time around, British-Iranian Omid was also asked to be part of the hit film as a passport officer.
He said: “It was a wonderful experience, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously and just enjoyed chatting away to James Bond Pierce Brosnan as you do - it was like a holiday!
“When we had the premier, I was told to wait until after the end credits and so was the audience and a lot of people did leave after the film but many people stayed sitting and I didn’t know what was coming.
“While we were there, I sung a bit of Take A Chance On Me to make the director laugh and next thing I know, there I am, after the credits, singing on the big screen.
“I didn’t know what to say, I was gobsmacked!”
In his show Schmuck For A Night, which he’ll be performing for one night only, as part of Brentwood Live, at the Brentwood Leisure Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood - the award-winning actor will be discussing his own take on current affairs from the likes of President Donald Trump to the never-ending saga that is Brexit.
“It’s just going to be me sharing my views on what’s going on in the world today and how I struggle to make sense of any of it”, he said.
“Sometimes it’ll be so current that audiences won’t laugh at some of the jokes until they get home and turn on their TV.”
“I’m embracing my inner schmuck because you have to be a schmuck to be a comedian nowadays.”
But as well as his fascination with the world in 2019, Omid has another interest close to his heart. Yes, you’ve guessed it (or more likely you haven’t). The Only Way Is Essex.
“Me and my wife usually tape it and watch it in bed on a Sunday.
“I think it doesn’t have the best reputation but under all the glitz and glamour, it is about relationships and having a moral code: doing right by your friends, your other half, your family.
“Whenever I go somewhere in Essex, everyone I meet seems to know someone from the show as well.
“I was a petrol station when I spoke to this young woman who was talking about how she saw Arg the other day and how she bumped into Gemma Collins the other week as if she knew them!
“Gemma though is a remarkable woman. I did a show with her last year and she wasn’t what I expected and couldn’t believe it when I said I watch it [Towie].
“She was very humble, telling me how she used to sell cars for a living.
“I’m looking forward to the next series!”
Omid Djalili’s Schmuck For A Night will be at the Brentwood Leisure Centre, on Saturday, February 2.
For more information or to book tickets, visit brentwood-live.co.uk