RELATIONSHIPS, growing old and celebrity culture – no topic is off-limits for comedian Omid Djalili.
The 48-year-old admits that he doesn’t feel the same pressure to talk about “things in the news” and as a result as found humour elsewhere.
“On Twitter, comics feel they constantly have to comment on things that are trending and put their oar in,” he says ahead of his show at The Roses in Tewkesbury tonight.
“But nowadays if everyone is talking about fracking I’ll just talk about [1970s singing duo] Peters and Lee”
The latter is a sign of his advancing years and he says growing older is a key topic in his latest routines.
“We all struggle with it,” Omid says. “As Dave Allen once said, ‘I enjoy getting older. I have to because there’s no choice’.
“When you hit your forties you understand life better, but at the same time your body is more prone to fail.
“So you have to find a way of joining your received wisdom with physical prowess.
“A lot of men who hit 40 try to do things that make them feel more alive because they want to prove themselves.
“That’s why I did Splash! I wanted to do something out of the box, stretch my courage and prove I was still a young man at heart even though my bits were dropping off.”
Despite his advancing years he still feels as passionate as ever about stand-up.
“I’ve done lots of different things and enjoyed them but stand-up, when it goes well – it often doesn’t – is definitely a love,” he says.
“There’s something deeply satisfying about a good gig.
“I’m not often happy with myself as an actor. I get upset when I see myself acting on screen, mostly because of the way I look.
“But as a stand-up it’s always a bonus if you look heavy or awkward or damaged.”
Relationships will also feature prominently in the show and Omid believes he’s finally come to understand the secret to them.
“I know when a woman gets married, she has to learn to forgive her man from day one,” he says.
“Because men are idiots. Before they become conscious human beings, that is.
“They can take years doing the wrong thing before they learn to adjust their behaviour.
“So women need patience and forgiveness and a voice to articulate what the man is doing that is wrong in a way a man can hear otherwise it’s over.”
Being a celebrity and a man is something of a double whammy it seems.
“I talk about the fact that when you become a celebrity or in fact in any line of work where you feel you are important somehow in a worldly sense because people around you are telling you so there is a period when you become an arse,” he says.
“It happens to everyone. You start believing your own hype and behave foolishly.”
n Omid Djalili is at The Roses in Tewkesbury from 8pm tonight. Tickets cost £22. Call 01684 295074.
n If you can’t make tonight’s gig then clear your diary for February 17 next year.
Omid is at Cheltenham Town Hall with his Iranalamadingdong show. For tickets, call 08445 762210.