Born in Tehran, Shappi Khorsandi was bought up in London after her family fled Iran following the Islamic Revolution as her satirist father, Hadi, criticised the Ayatollah.
She made her solo debut in 2003, returning in 2006 and 2007 – the year she was nomianted for best breakthrough act at the Chortle Awards.
She has appeared on a number of Radio 4 programmes, including Quote... Unquote, Loose Ends, You and Yours, Midweek, Just A Minute, The Now Show and The News Quiz.
A book about her childhood experiences of growing up in London in the Seventies is due to be published in spring 2009.
Shappi Khorsandi Videos
Shappi Khorsandi: Because I'm Shappi
When Shappi Khorsandi says she is excited to be in Brighton it feels more than the usual comedian’s platitude to whatever city they’re playing. After all, this Radio 4 regular is the epitome of the liberal middle-class – so this is definitely her kind of town.
She comes across as being happiest when on stage in any case, treating the audience as her confidant, with whom to share tales of her sometimes messy life. She’s recently had her second child, so there’s the feeling that as a single 40-year-old mum with a solitary career, this is her best chance of the day for adult conversation, albeit one-way.
From enduring childhood friendships, watching porn and attitudes to female comedians, Shappi’s material is easy to relate to and told with a casual, conversational air.
The material is loose and free-flowing – perhaps sometimes a little too loose as the anecdotes sometimes have a little too much padding. But while hearty belly-laughs are limited, the overwhelming feeling is that of an effortless, witty and candid chat with a friend. But a friend with some engaging tales.
Although she talks about her children, from ‘kids do the funniest things’ type stories to deeper concerns about her parenting, it’s her father – the exiled Iranian satirist Hadi Khorsandi – who’s the biggest character in the show, as he teaches her how to deal with hoodies on a London estate or gives her a sense of perspective about the odd Twitter troll. Father and daughter sound like a double act waiting to happen.
While Khorsandi Sr upset a whole regime, Shappi frets about accidentally causing offence to a minority group – especially given her experiences as a refuge to Britain. However by repeating the comment that got her in trouble, she gets the laughs from it again, while half-heartedly distancing herself from it.
But you’d have to be pretty thin-skinned to take the hump from a show that’s so warm, friendly and open, from a comic prepared to so publicly mull her fears and shortcoming.
Shappi Khorsandi Dates
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Shappi Khorsandi: Carry On Shappi A Night of Comedy for Ray - Hosted by Michael McIntyre
Shappi Khorsandi: The Distracted Activist Shappi Khorsandi: The Moon On A Stick Shappi Khorsandi: Me And My Brother, In Our Pants, Holding Hands Shappi Khorsandi: Dirty Looks And Hopscotch Addison Cresswell Comedy Tribute
Shappi Khorsandi: Because I'm Shappi... BBC Comedy Presents... September 2008
BBC London Children in Need benefit
Channel 4 Comedy Gala 2011
Funny Women Gala 2006
Leicester Comedy Festival 2007 Preview Show
Secret Policeman's Ball 2008 An Evening With Shappi Khorsandi