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Omid Djalili's Biography

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Omid Djalili was born in London in 1965.

His parents, who are of the B'hai faith, came to England from Iran in the 1960s, mainly to see Carnaby Street, but they ended up staying in London.

Omid Djalili grew up in Kensington, but broke through in acting at the end of the 1990s in The Mummy and The World Is Not Enough.

Djalili's other acting credits include Sky Captain The World Of Tomorrow, The Calcium Kid, Anita & Me, Gladiator, Spy Game, Lupo, Casanova, and Alien Autopsy.

Omid Djalili is also the voice of Tiger in Over the Hedge.

Omid Djalili has an excellent track record in stand-up comedy. He has been a popular regular at the Edinburgh Fringe with shows like Short Fat Kebab Shop Owner's Son, Warm To My Winning Smile, Arab & The Jew, Omid Djalili Is Ethnic, and Behind Enemy Lines.

Omid Djalili has been a regular on TV. In drama he has appeared in Channel 4's Black Books, the BBC's Chopra Town and My Family and Other Animals where he played the taxi driver Spiro.

In entertainment, he has appeared on Room 101, Have I Got News For You and Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive.

In November 2007, the BBC started transmitting The Omid Djalili Show on Saturday nights.

In a busy year for Djalili, 2007 also saw the arrival of ITV's sitcom, The Abbey where he played Tony alongside Russell Brand as Terry and Morwenna Banks as Marianne Hope.

Omid Djalili also has his own HBO stand-up comedy special in the USA.

In a Telegraph article, Omid Djalili talks about his inspiration and said:

"... 9/11 made me step up a gear. It was partly self-preservation, as everyone thought that my career was going to die, but also a feeling that I had a duty to the people I represented.

"If I can make an audience laugh and come away from a show thinking that maybe Middle Eastern people aren't all suicide bombers, then I've done a good job. But ultimately, the only real goal is to be funny."

In February 2009, it was revealed that Omid Djalili would replace Rowan Atkinson as Fagin in the West End revival of Oliver from 20 July.

On 14 October 2011, Omid Djalili began his comedy tour entitled Omid Djalili: Tour Of Duty.

His other credits include hosting the ITV quiz show Winning Combination.

In 2020, he spoke about the difficulty of working as a comedian in the times of the pandemic.

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