The Omid Djalili Show, BBC1

by | Nov 17, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

We wanted to. Omid is hugely talented and very likeable and this collection of sketches, songs and stand-up occasionally made us laugh. Too often, however, it failed to hit the mark.

What was good about it?

• Omid’s dancing on stage, basically fragrant and flagrant showing off, was endearingly amusing.

• The stand-up sections were hit and miss, often there wasn’t enough time to build up the story and there were some alarming jump cuts, but sometimes there were laughs to be found: Omid imagining himself as a former management consultant, for example, or his assertion that in the UK an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman is a joke but in Iran it’s a hostage situation.

• Indeed, some of the best comedy came from Omid’s observations of the differences between British and Iranians – which is certainly a fresh area for comedy. “Iranians don’t leave the house,” he told us. “Well, unless there’s chicken… or uranium.”

• He also made some good points, claiming the British media continually giving a voice to Abu Hamza was a bit like Al Jazeera claiming the Ku Klux Klan accurately represent western Christian society.

• We quite liked the gay Scottish director going to film Osama bin Laden’s latest video, which was just bizarre. Best line: Translator: “He (Osama) liked it when you sang.” Omid (To Osama): “I like it when you stare.”

What was bad about it?

• It started disappointingly with a parody of the notoriously nauseating M&S adverts. Admittedly these loathsome creations are ripe for a good kicking, but this has already been done to death elsewhere and wasn’t exactly an innovative start to the series.

• The ‘Inside the Ethnic Bit Part Actor’s Studio’ was a very good idea, although most of the British public will have no idea about the Inside The Actor’s Studio show in America and it ultimately outstayed its welcome.

• Steve ‘The Dragon’ Thompson, a wide boy character doing a cheap video about survival just felt too familiar and was devoid of any real invention, relying totally on Omid’s energy to carry it (there’s a very similar short sketch that’s been running on Paramount Comedy for some time).

• The closing sequence, a shortened musical based in a kebab shop, summed up this first episode. Occasional moments of nicely observed humour and skilled writing juxtaposed with a desperation for a quick laugh, such as Omid nutting a customer (headbutting featured frustratingly heavily in this episode).

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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