Shappi Khorsandi
Khorsandi at Glastonbury Festival in 2015
Birth nameShaparak Khorsandi
Born (1973-06-08) 8 June 1973 (age 47)
Tehran, Iran
MediumStand-up, television
NationalityBritish
GenresBlack comedy, observational comedy, deadpan
Subject(s)Everyday life, Iranian culture, British politics
Spouse
Christian Reilly
(m. 2005; div. 2011)
Children2
Parent(s)Hadi Khorsandi (father)
Notable works and roles
Websitewww.shappi.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Shaparak "Shappi" Khorsandi (Persian: شاپرک خرسندی‎, born 8 June 1973)[1][2] is an Iranian-born British[3] comedian and author. She is the daughter of the Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi. Her family left Iran when she was a child following the Islamic Revolution.

In January 2016, she became president of Humanists UK,[4] and became vice-president in 2019.[5] Her second book and first novel, Nina is Not OK, was published in 2016.[4]

Background and personal life

The daughter of Hadi Khorsandi, she was born in Iran and says her earliest memory is 'riding on a bicycle in Tehran, on my uncle's lap at dawn, to get chocolate milk'. She and her family were forced to flee from Iran to London after the Islamic Revolution following the publication of a satirical poem her father composed which was seen as critical of the revolutionary regime.

Khorsandi was raised without any religion,[6] and identifies as an atheist and a humanist.[7] She later became a patron of Humanists UK, which appointed her as its President for a three-year term from January 2016, succeeding Jim Al-Khalili.[8]

Khorsandi graduated from King Alfred's College, now the University of Winchester, in 1995, with a degree in Drama, Theatre and television, then moved on to pursue a career in comedy. In 2010, the university awarded her an honorary doctorate.[9]

Khorsandi was married to fellow comedian Christian Reilly, with whom she has a son, Cassius.[10] They divorced in 2011.[11] In November 2012, she announced on Twitter that she was expecting her second child, due in the summer of 2013. On 7 June 2013, Khorsandi gave birth to a baby girl, Genevieve. In a 2014 interview she said "I’m doing it all on my own, I have no contact with the father. But that’s fine, I’m not angry or bitter."[11]

Khorsandi lives with her children in South-West London near Richmond Park. Her father and brother are also stand-up comedians.[12] In 2017, she came out as bisexual.[13]

Career

Khorsandi performs comedy, having been a performer at Joe Wilson's Comedy Madhouse throughout 1997. She has appeared on many BBC Radio 4 programmes, including Quote... Unquote, Loose Ends, You and Yours, Midweek, Just A Minute, The Now Show and The News Quiz, as well as BBC Television's Have I Got News For You and QI. In July 2009, she hosted her own four-part series, Shappi Talk on BBC Radio 4, examining what it is like growing up in multi-cultural families.[14] She also writes an occasional column for online magazine Iranian.com.

In 2007, Khorsandi made her first trip to Australia and the Melbourne Comedy Festival with her show Asylum Speaker. She also appeared live on the Australia comedy talk show Rove. Later, she was nominated for best breakthrough act at the 2007 Chortle Awards. In December 2008, she appeared on the BBC stand-up television show Live at the Apollo alongside Russell Kane and Al Murray.[15] She also made an appearance on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow on 20 June 2009, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 26 June 2009 and 8 Out of 10 Cats on 10 July 2009. She performed her show, The Distracted Activist, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 6 to 31 August 2009.[16]

Khorsandi was a panellist on Question Time in 2006, and returned on 14 January 2010. During that show, she mentioned that she supports Labour. She performed on the second episode of Let's Dance for Sport Relief 2010.[17][18]

Khorsandi performing at Latitude in 2009
Khorsandi performing at Latitude in 2009

In 2010, Khorsandi took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March. She appeared as a guest in Genius hosted by Dave Gorman on 31 October 2010.[19] In March 2012, Khorsandi appeared on Channel 4's The Celebrity Bank Job and won £59,000 for her chosen charities.

Khorsandi is a member of the Arts Emergency Service, a British charity working with 16- to 19-year-olds in further education from diverse backgrounds.[20]

On 19 and 20 November 2014, Khorsandi was a guest panellist on Loose Women, filling in for Jamelia. She appeared on The Blame Game on BBC Northern Ireland hosted by Tim McGarry on 5 December 2014.[21]

In 2016, Khorsandi appeared with her son on Big Star's Little Star. Also in 2016, along with numerous other celebrities, Khorsandi toured the UK to support Jeremy Corbyn's bid to become Prime Minister.[22][23]

In November 2017, Khorsandi appeared as a contestant on the seventeenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and was placed 11th in the competition.[24]

A Beginner's Guide to Acting English

Khorsandi's memoir, A Beginner's Guide to Acting English, was published by Ebury Press on 2 July 2009.[25] The book describes the way in which Khorsandi experienced England as a young girl.[26] The narrative begins with her attending nursery school, The Kings' International Nursery School, with her brother, Peyvand. Throughout the book, she explains the ways in which the Persian language differs from English: "They called me ‘poppet’. Iranians said 'jaan' or 'azizam'." She also expresses pride in how her father took English classes and was praised for his affinity with the written word, though she also felt he was able to be more humorous in Persian.

Other themes include her experiences with English food and customs,[26] the war between Iran and Iraq, and the hostilities that she and her family encounter—she notes, for example, having been referred to as a terrorist.

Tours and live shows

Year Title Notes Ref.
2000 Pablo Diablo's Cryptic Triptych Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With Russell Brand and Mark Felgate. [27]
2001 Off The Kerb Roadshow Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With Angie McEvoy, JJ Whitehead, and Mark Felgate. [27]
2003 Shappi Khorsandi Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2006 Asylum Speaker Edinburgh Festival Fringe [28]
2007 Carry On Shappi Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2007 Comedy Gala 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2009 The Distracted Activist Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2009 Night of Comedy for Ray - Hosted by Michael McIntyre Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2010 The Moon On A Stick Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2011 Me And My Brother In Our Pants, Holding Hands Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2012-13 Dirty Looks And Hopscotch Edinburgh Festival Fringe and tour [27][29]
2013 Shappi Khorsandi: Live!
2014-15 Because I'm Shappi Edinburgh Festival Fringe and tour [27][30]
2014 Addison Cresswell Comedy Tribute Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2016-17 Oh My Country! From Morris Dancing to Morrissey Edinburgh Festival Fringe and tour [31][28]
2017 Mistress & Misfit Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]
2018 Skittish Warrior… Confessions of a Club Comic Edinburgh Festival Fringe [27]

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Ref.
1999 But You Speak Such Good English on-screen participant [32]
2006 The Sunday Edition (17/12/2006) on-screen participant [32]
2008 The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008 on-screen participant [32]
2009 8 Out of 10 Cats (17/07/2009) on-screen participant [32]
2009 Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (26/06/2009) guest [32]
2010 Channel 4's Comedy Gala on-screen participant [32]
2010 The Culture Show at the Edinburgh Festival reporter [32]
2010 My Favourite Joke on-screen participant [33]
2010 Spice Britain presenter [34]
2012 Comedy World Cup on-screen participant [32]
2013 The Culture Show from Edinburgh: Funny Women on-screen participant [32]
2014 It Was Alright in the 1970s cast member [32]
2015 Channel 4's Comedy Gala cast member [32]
2016 Channel 4's Comedy Gala on-screen participant [32]
2016 My Worst Job (19/07/2016) cast member [32]
2017 Rules cast member [32]
2017 Fun cast member [32]
2017 Chaos cast member [32]
2017 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (British series 17) on-screen participant [35]

Radio

Year Title Role Ref.
2008 Loose Ends guest [36]
2009 Front Row guest [37]
2009 Steve Wright in the Afternoon guest [38]
2011 And the Winner Is... guest [39]

Bibliography

Year Title Publisher ISBN
2009 A Beginner's Guide To Acting English Ebury Press ISBN 978-0091924775
2016 Nina is Not OK Ebury Press ISBN 978-1785031366

Awards, honours and nominations

Year Award Result Ref.
2000 BBC New Comedy Award Nominated
2010 British Comedy Awards, Best Female TV Comic Nominated [40]
2010 Honorary doctorate, University of Winchester Awarded [41]
2013 James Joyce Award Won [42]

See also

References

  1. ^ Khorsandi, Shappi (2009). A Beginner's Guide to Acting English. Ebury Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-09-192477-5.
  2. ^ "Birthdays today". The Times. London. 8 June 2020. p. 27.
  3. ^ Cain, Sian (6 January 2017). "Shappi Khorsandi withdraws book from Jhalak prize longlist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Khorsandi's debut novel to Ebury". The Bookseller. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Acclaimed scientist and broadcaster Alice Roberts appointed President of Humanists UK". Humanists UK. 11 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  6. ^ Shappi Khorsandi (January–February 2007). "Diary: Comic timing". New Humanist:Articles, Volume 122 Issue 1. The Rationalist Association. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  7. ^ Charlotte Higgins. "Shappi Khorsandi: the last laugh". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Shappi Khorsandi named new President of the British Humanist Association". British Humanist Association. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Comedian Shappi Khorsandi to be honoured by the University of Winchester". The University of Winchester. 5 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  10. ^ Budak, Bertan (21 May 2010). "My perfect weekend: Shappi Khorsandi". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  11. ^ a b Roz Laws (2 May 2014). "Comedian Shappi Khorsandi heads to the West Midlands for a run of shows – Birmingham Post". birminghampost. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  12. ^ Video interview of Khorsandi on Carpool https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL8V_VWMWT8 Archived 22 December 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Shappi Khorsandi: I'm bisexual". Chortle. 18 August 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  14. ^ – 22:45 (19 October 2010). "Radio 4 Programmes – Shappi Talk: Series 1". BBC. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2011.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "BBC listing". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  16. ^ "Shappi Khorsandi: The Distracted Activist | Edinburgh Festival Guide". Edinburghfestival.list.co.uk. 21 August 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  17. ^ "Who will be competing on Show two?". BBC. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  18. ^ "Show Two Report". BBC. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  19. ^ "Genius With Dave Gorman – Episode 2.6. Noddy Holder and Shappi Khorsandi – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  20. ^ "Media Diversity UK". E-activist.com. Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  21. ^ "The Blame Game". BBC Iplayer. 5 December 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  22. ^ "#JC4PM". jc4pmtour. 28 July 2015. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  23. ^ Wilkinson, Michael (1 February 2016). "Celebrities to tour Britain in 'Jeremy Corbyn For Prime Minister' musical show". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Meet your 2017 Celebrity Campmates!". Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  25. ^ "A Beginner's Guide to Acting English". Amnesty.org.uk. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  26. ^ a b "A Beginner's Guide to Acting English, By Shappi Khorsandi". The Independent. 3 July 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Shappi Khorsandi". chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  28. ^ a b Greenstreet, Rosanna (18 February 2017). "Shappi Khorsandi: 'My worst job? Life modelling for a woman who made me recite Shakespeare as I posed'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  29. ^ Owens, David (19 March 2013). "Shappi Khorsandi show uncovers truth about love on the rocks and roll". walesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  30. ^ Kettle, James (8 May 2015). "This week's new live comedy". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  31. ^ Joseph, Emma (25 March 2017). "Comedian Shappi Khorsandi on why she's reclaiming patriotism". Bournemouth Echo. Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Shappi Khorsandi". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  33. ^ "My Favourite Joke". bbc.co.uk. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  34. ^ "Spice Britain". bbc.co.uk. 28 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  35. ^ Lawson, Mark (20 November 2017). "I'm a Celebrity returns – and Stanley Johnson makes it a must-watch". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  36. ^ "Loose Ends 02/08/2008". bbc.co.uk. 2 August 2008. Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  37. ^ "Front Row". bbc.co.uk. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  38. ^ "Steve Wright in the Afternoon". bbc.co.uk. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  39. ^ "And the Winner Is..." bbc.co.uk. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  40. ^ "Winners 2010". britishcomedyawards.com. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  41. ^ "Preview: Shappi Khorsandi". 21 October 2019. Archived from the original on 23 December 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  42. ^ Kearns, Edward (5 February 2013). "Interview: Shappi Khorsandi". universityobserver.ie. Retrieved 23 December 2012.