'I'm cast as the Arab scumbag'


Funny business: despite parts in many major films, Omid Djalili still finds performing stand-up comedy the most enjoyable

The comedian and actor has a new film in which he plays a Muslim taxi-driver who discovers he's a Jew. But, generally, he says...

Omid Djalili is contemplating taking his clothes off. Well, not right now, as we're sitting in a busy restaurant near his house in leafy East Sheen and that would be extreme behaviour, even by his standards. No, he's talking about stand-up – which despite his successful film career is still his greatest love – and how there are times when he struggles to curb his baser impulses.

"I could easily streak on stage," he says, his eyes twinkling. "I would love to do a whole act naked. I could insult people, I could swear, I could do the most filthy material you've ever heard. But luckily I have a conscience that says: 'Would that really be good for my mother to see?'"

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