First and Last: Omid Djalili

Omid Djalili on cats, comedy critics and being Kanye’s caterer

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This article is from 2016.

First and Last: Omid Djalili

The stand-up legend who currently plays Mr Venus in the Beeb’s Dickensian and whose film credits include Gladiator, The Infidel and Sex and the City 2 takes on our First & Last quiz.

First record you ever bought
Sergei Bubka's first pole vaulting record of six metres achieved in Paris, July 1985.

Last extravagant purchase you made
Sergei Bubka's pole vaulting record in Paris, July 1985. When I had it valued recently, it turned out to be Michael Bublé's Xmas records from 2005. And therefore worthless.

First film you saw that really moved you
A safety video on an airplane. The animated figures are always so slim. They never show a fat bloke at the back wedged between two seats, wearing a fully inflated life jacket, sweating profusely and asking if they'll still be serving breakfast. This moved me. In my imagination.

Last lie you told
I have always admired and respected the work of the renowned critic Brian Donaldson.

First movie you ever went on a date to
The Pee-wee Herman remake of 2 Girls One Cup.

Last time you cried
When Scotland voted NO to independence. Meant I couldn't declare my gigs there as foreign-income.

First thing you do when you've got time off work
Dress up in a mouse costume and hide with a baseball bat waiting for the cat.

Last great meal you cooked
Once I fed 5000 people with two fishes and five loaves of bread when I worked as caterer for Kanye West.

First crush
Brian Cant, one of the Play Away presenters. He’s 82 years old now but still considered an attractive woman in Iran.

Last book you read
What I Look Like in a Bikini by Brian Cant.

First great piece of advice you were given
‘If a white man says he comes in peace, you're probably going to die.’

Last time you were starstruck
When I met Idris Elba. It was only after we'd spent the day together that I realised it was actually Moira Stuart.

First thing you'd do if you ran the country
Collapse from exhaustion … it's a hell of a long way.

Last meal on earth
I don't really mind but nothing too fattening as I'm lowering my carb intake.

First song you'll sing at karaoke
I went to a karaoke bar in Japan and sang ‘Big In Japan’. The lead singer from Alphaville, who recorded ‘Big In Japan’, was there. He was tiny.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
On a celebrity parachute jump I used my celebrity not to jump.

First time you realised you were famous
When I met Joey Essex for the third time and he'd still never heard of me.

Last time someone criticised your work
A review from Brian Donaldson in The List.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Quick, everyone, hide.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
Thanks to this new 'contactless' thing, I made a purchase once and didn't even know about it. I was just leaning against the till in Sainsbury's and I bought shopping for a family of eight.

First concert you ever attended
Liberace singing the hits of Niggaz Wit Attitudes.

Last time you bought someone flowers
Cate Blanchett.

First object you'd save from your burning home
My extensive collection of fire extinguishers.

Last funny thing you saw online
The Muppets re-make of Black Hawk Down.

First job
Twenty-one years ago I was Harry Styles' wet nurse.

Last person you fantasized about
Alan Titchmarsh.

First word you spoke
Dada. My parents were very into early 20th century avant-garde art.

Last thing you recommended to someone
A few years ago I recommended a young actress to give up the profession as she just ‘didn't have what it takes’. It was Cate Blanchett.

First book you read for a second time
Was it Worth Cutting My Cock Off? by Caitlyn Jenner.

Last song at your funeral
It's a toss-up between ‘Un bel di vedremo’ from Puccini's Madame Butterfly or Joe Dolce’s ‘Shaddap You Face’.

First person you'd thank in an award acceptance speech
David Baddiel really would be the first.

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
I wish I could be bothered to get up and put the cat out.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Why is the cat asleep on my face?

Omid Djalili is on tour Tuesday 1 March–Saturday 14 May; Djalili’s autobiography, Hopeful, is out now in paperback published by Headline; Dickensian continues on BBC One, Thursdays and Fridays.

This article is from 2016.

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