Omid Djalili is a British stand-up comedian, actor, television producer and writer.
Djalili was born in Chelsea, London, to Iranian parents. 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" 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 premieres, and he also announced a new tour of the UK called No Agenda, from January 2007 until March 2007, covering 23 different dates. In 2007, he was voted by the British public as the 60th best stand-up comedian in a Channel 4 program "The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups."
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 also picked up an international film award for Best Supporting Actor in "Casanova," starring alongside Heath Ledger and Jeremy Irons.
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