Shazia Mirza: 'Along with complaining and tutting, being offended is a new national pastime'
- Brian Donaldson
- 29 March 2018
The comic who appeared fairly traumatised on Celebrity Island last year is back with a show about Brexit and butt-plugs
For a while there, every second doctor seemed to be forging a career in comedy. The likes of Harry Hill, Paul Sinha and Ed Patrick all dramatically changed their relationship towards the humerus, but now could those who worked in schools be the next professionals to teach comedy audiences a lesson?
Romesh Ranganathan (maths), Billy Crystal (woodwork) and Greg Davies (English and drama) seem pretty happy that they left the world of parents' evenings and protractors behind them, and in a similar boat is Shazia Mirza, who was a science teacher in a past life. 'There is no difference between teaching and stand-up,' she insists. 'You have to keep the audience engaged and interested. But the great thing about stand-up is that no one throws a chair at you and locks you in the broom cupboard at the end of your set.'
Mirza has been at the comedy game for the best part of two decades, but for many she'll be the comic who made a reference to her pilot's licence in the immediate wake of 9/11. Although she did take some flak at the time, the entertainment world we live in now seems even more touchy. 'Along with complaining and tutting, being offended is a new national pastime,' Mirza observes. 'I still think comedians say what they want though. The minute someone tells us not to say something, we go out of our way to say it. Things are more sensitive now compared to when I first started but that's because we feel under attack by people who run the world.'
Now Mirza is back and wielding a new touring show, With Love From St Tropez, which features, among many other things, Brexit and butt-plugs. 'I think it's the only show in the whole world that has ever mentioned these two words in the same hour. But you would never know it, as their connection totally makes sense.'
Shazia Mirza: With Love From St Tropez is on tour until Friday 13 July.