Busybody - Shazia Mirza interview

This article is from 2011.

Interview - Shazia Mirza

The comedian discusses being both a busybody and the go-to girl for Islam

As a female Muslim stand-up, Shazia Mirza would often find herself asked to comment on current affairs. Around 9/11 she was quoted left, right and centre but soon tired of being the go-to girl for Islam. ‘I always get people ringing up asking my opinion and always on things I don’t know about. I had someone asking for my opinion when Obama shot Osama. I’ve been asked what I think about Bin Laden’s porn collection. I know so much about Lady Gaga and I think, why don’t you ring me up and ask about her life?’

Having a distinct lack of interest in being nosy, it came as something of a surprise when Mirza was called a busybody at Heathrow airport. ‘The woman in front of me in the queue asked how much her suitcase could weigh and the woman at Virgin Atlantic said, “It’s 23 kilos”, I said, “I thought it was 30”. The Virgin Atlantic woman then said, “Can you wait your turn and stop being such a busybody.” That’s a word I’ve not heard since I was at primary school!’ Insulting as it may have been, at least it’s given her the title of her new show.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 6–28 Aug, 8.15pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9–£11). Previews until 5 Aug, £5.

Shazia Mirza: Busybody

Shazia Mirza’s comedy is a unique blend. Her Pakistani parentage and Birmingham upbringing have resulted in a comedy rich in its diversity. Although her family are Muslim this is not a central to Shazia’s comedy, preferring a more general observational approach which also deals with her particular culture as a British…

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