Interview: Shappi Khorsandi – ‘I'm getting a puppy so I may smell of dog wee’

Interview: Shappi Khorsandi – ‘I'm getting a puppy so I may smell of dog wee’

UK-Iranian stand-up and new boss of the British Humanist Association brings her many jokes to the Glasgow International Comedy Festival

You can't accuse Shappi Khorsandi of not having strings to her bow. On the up and up (and up) as a stand-up, over the years she's also appeared on panel shows, podcasts, written a book (A Beginner’s Guide to Acting English) and even graced the stage as part of Let's Dance for Sports Relief. Still. ‘A chat show would be nice,’ she says. ‘I said … A CHAT SHOW WOULD BE NICE!’

Khorsandi is bringing us a new show, coming off the back of her most recent tour, Because I’m Shappi, which travelled exhaustively across the UK throughout 2014 and 2015. So, as to what to expect from the new show: ‘I'm getting a puppy so I may smell of dog wee,’ she explains. ‘Other than that, expect more laughter and warmth and neediness. It'll have loads of new material because going back to a show you've toured extensively is like sleeping with an ex: you are left with a slight dull ache afterwards.’

In the world of comedy, a new year, of course, brings with it a new, looming, Edinburgh Fringe, for which Khorsandi is ready. Sort of. ‘I'm going up with a show called Oh My Country and I have written five jokes so far. Hoping to write 107 more before August.’

Another string to her overloaded bow is her recent appointment as President of the British Humanist Association, which she says affects all aspects of her life and career. ‘In a world where the voices of the great faiths are heard and considered in every public issue, the voice of the humanist, the non-believer, should be heard too. Morals, principles, ideas and philosophies are not exclusive to believers. Amen.’

Shappi Khorsandi: Live!, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 25 Mar.

Shappi Khorsandi: Mistress and Misfit

  • 3 stars

The TV regular and award-winning comic presents a show about Lady Emma Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson.