Djalili at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
30 September 1965|
Chelsea, London, England
|Medium||Film, television, stand-up|
|Subject(s)||Religion, race, culture, stereotypes, human interaction|
|Spouse||Annabel Knight (1992-present)|
Early life and education
Djalili was born in Chelsea, London, to Iranian Bahá'í parents and is a Bahá'í himself. 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 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.
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 Macintosh 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.
Djalili also appears in the second season of Thunderbirds Are Go in October 2016 as Horse Williams.
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..
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.
Djalili is a Chelsea fan and has also appeared many times in the club's in-house channel, Chelsea TV. He has been married to Annabel Knight since 1992, and they have three children, Isabella, Louis and Daniel.
- The Mummy (1999) - as Warden Gad Hassan
- Notting Hill (1999) - as Cashier at Coffee Shop
- Mad Cows (1999) - as George
- The World Is Not Enough (1999) - as Foreman
- Gladiator (2000) - as Slave Trader
- Spy Game (2001) - as Beirut: Doumet
- Mean Machine (2001) - as Raj
- Anita and Me (2002) - as Uncle Amman
- Cross My Heart (2003) - as Riz
- Deadlines (2004) - as Abdul Sayyaf
- The Calcium Kid (2004) - as Herbie Bush
- Modigliani (2004) - as Pablo Picasso
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) - as Kaji
- Casanova (2005) - as Lupo
- Alien Autopsy (2006) - as Melik
- Over the Hedge (2006) - as Tiger, the bad tempered Persian cat
- Grow Your Own (2007) - as Ali
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) - as Askay / Pusasn
- The Love Guru (2008) - as Guru Satchabigknoba
- Dead Man Running (2009) - as "Bald Fat Fuck"
- The Infidel (2010) - as Mahmud Nasir
- Sex and the City 2 (2010) - as Mr. Safir
- Animals United (2010) - as Bongo (voice)
- Mr. Nice (2010) - as Saleem Malik
- Big Fat Gypsy Gangster (2011) - as Jik Jickkles
- Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) - as Trumper (voice)
- Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism (2015) - as Barry Rix
- The Comedian's Guide to Survival (2016)
- The Friday Night Armistice (1996)
- Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round (1998)
- The Bill (1998)
- Barking (1998)
- The Lake of Darkness (1999)
- Cleopatra (1999) - as Storemaster
- Coming Soon (1999) - as Amir Hassan
- Small Potatoes (1999)
- Black Books (2000) - as Trebor
- Jason and the Argonauts (2000) - as Castor
- Lenny Henry in Pieces (2000)
- So What Now? (2001) - as Ken
- Baddiel's Syndrome (2001) - as Chef
- Relic Hunter (2002) - as Ahmid
- Dinotopia: The Series (2002) - as Zipeau (voice)
- Between Iraq and a Hard Place (2003) - as Iraqi Television Host
- Whoopi (2003) - as Nasim Khatenjami
- Live at the Apollo (2004) - as himself
- Age of Awakening (2005)
- Chopra Town (2005)
- One Night Stand (HBO) (2005) - as himself
- My Family and Other Animals (2005)
- Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive (2006)
- Jack Dee's Lead Balloon (2006)
- Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (2006) - as Perfectionist (voice)
- TV Heaven, Telly Hell (2007)
- Have I Got News For You (2007)
- The Omid Djalili Show (2007, 2009) - Himself, presenter
- Premier League All Stars (2007)
- Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy (2007)
- Never Mind The Buzzcocks (2008)
- Headcases (2008) - as Mohamed Al Fayed
- Would I Lie To You? (2009) - Guest panellist, one episode
- The Paul Reiser Show (2011)
- Omid Djalili's Little Cracker (2012)
- Splash! (2013) - Contestant
- The Great Sport Relief Bake Off (2014) - Guest presenter, one episode
- Question Time (2014) – Guest panellist
- Dickensian (2015–16) – Mr Venus
- Insert Name Here (2016) – Guest panellist
- The One Show (2016) – Guest presenter, 1 episode
- Stan Lee's Lucky Man (2016 – present) – Kamil - 6 episodes
- Thunderbirds Are Go (TBA) - Horse Williams (voice); 1 episode
- Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony as Yusuf Amir (2009)
- 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand as Eddie (2009)
- 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
- In The Arena With Omid Djalili By Darius Kadivar, Payvand's Iran News, 3 December 2007
- TV Heaven, Telly Hell - Omid Djalili
- "Comedian Ivor Dembina". Chortle Comedy Website. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- "Ivor Dembina shows". University of Glasgow Scottish Theatre Archive.
- "Have I Got News for You". BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Omid Djalili pockets Fagin role in Oliver!", The Guardian article, 11 February 2009
- "Omid Djalili Money Supermarket adverts on YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "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. 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Philharmonia Orchestra: Hovhaness". Southbank Centre. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- Fenners meets Omid Djalili, ESPN (UK), 19 April 2010
- "GRAND THEFT AUTO IV - Xbox World 360 Preview (News)". Gta4.net. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Features - 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand: Audio Postmortem". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
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