‘My career has evolved like a prehistoric horse’

Omid Djalili
Omid Djalili

Award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili performs at Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome on Friday May 6.

Renowned for his razor sharp wit and expertly crafted cultural observations, Omid’s stand-up show explores the diversity of modern Britain.

Omid’s credits range from Hollywood movies and television to live productions on the West End stage.

He has appeared on UK and US TV, and starred in films such as the Shaun the Sheep Movie, Gladiator and The Mummy.

In 2015 he was executive producer of the documentary We Are Many, about the global anti-war demonstrations that took place on February 15, 2003.

However, Omid remains modest about his success.

“My career has evolved like the weird little prehistoric horse, the Hypo-hippus, which used to have three toes but then developed hooves.

“So no one really cares or can say for certain it actually ever existed.”

He doesn’t even have a favourite film credit.

“The thing about movies is that they are filmed and captured in that state forever,” he explains.

“The reason I love stand-up is because there is always the opportunity to improve it and make it better.”

Nevertheless, the big and small screen work is still coming in.

Omid recently starred in BBC One’s Victorian soap Dickensian, which offers “all of Dickens’ characters in one original series”.

“I’m a fan of the mega mix so I like the concept,” he says.

Playing Mr. Venus, a taxidermist who makes only a fleeting appearance in Our Mutual Friend, Omid reminisces about the funnier aspects of the show, instead of any deeper meaning it might have.

“I got to wear a hat,” he states.

“I love hats.

“It’s an underrated fashion accessory.

“Mine gave me an added ‘Pimp of Bethlehem’ dimension, which was unexpected.”

The programme proved popular among Dickens enthusiasts but Omid, with his comedian’s perspective, noticed another group of fans.

“The only other group who are watching it apart from Dickens fans are the Brighton branch of the Hairy Bears.

“They have emailed to say that they are enjoying it immensely, but could I show some more chest hair?”

Looking to TV shows set in a more modern era Omid’s also starring in the new Sky 1 series Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.

“It’s dark and tantalizing,” he says, not giving too much of the plot away.

“It’s about the power of having luck.

“They’re calling it Stan Lee’s Lucky Man because Stan Lee wants to prove that if you wear the lucky bracelet you can have the kind of luck that allows you to have your name before anything you really covet or desire.”

“Stan Lee’s Cillet Bang is due to hit Argos shelves any moment.”

Tickets are priced£24.00

Call the Royal Hippodrome box office on 01323 802020 (open Mon - Fridays 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm + 1 hour before shows).

To find out more www.royalhippodrome.com