As an actor, Khan Din participated in some 20 British films and TV series in the late 1980s and the 1990s. He made his film debut in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), but is perhaps best known for the role of Sammy in Hanif Kureishi's Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987) and as one of the leading characters in the film Idiot from 1992.
In the late 1990s, Kahn Din began writing plays, the first was East is East (1997) for the Royal Court Theatre, was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Comedy. The play draws very much from Kahn-Din's own childhood in Salford, where he grew up in a large family with a British Pakistani father and a white British mother. In interviews, he has stated that the young boy Sajid Khan is a self-portrait, and that Sajid's parents are very exact portraits of his own parents.
In 1999, the film version of East is East was released, starring Om Puri as the father and Linda Bassett as the mother. Khan Din adapted his own play, and won both a British Independent Film Award and a London Critics' Circle Film Award for his screenplay, as well as being nominated for two BAFTA Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, and for a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter.
In 2007 Rafta, Rafta..., a play Kahn Din wrote, opened at the Lyttelton stage of the Royal National Theatre in London. It is a comic adaptation of the 1963 Bill Naughton play, All in Good Time. The play is set in the working class English town of Bolton, and examines a story of marital difficulties within an immigrant Indian family. The play has since opened both in New York at the New Group in 2008, and at the HuM Theatre in Singapore in 2010. In 2012, a film adaption of Rafta, Rafta... was released under the title All in Good Time, it directed by Nigel Cole and with Reece Ritchie in the leading role. In 2010, West is West, a sequel to East is East, premiered at film festivals in Toronto and London, with a wide UK release scheduled for February 2010. In this film, the story is set in 1976, five years after the story in 'East is East. Father George Khan is worried that his youngest son, Sajid, now 15, is turning his back on his Pakistani heritage, so he decides to take him for a visit to Pakistan.
Khan Din's brothers are Lee Din and Rasshied Din. Lee is a renowned makeup artist in the TV industry and tutor at the School of Make-up in Manchester, and Rassheid is, among other things, the designer of the Diana, Princess of Wales, memorial centre at Althorp.
Ayub Khan Din is married to actress Buki Armstrong.
- Internet Movie Database: Ayub Khan Din trivia, retrieved 2010-10-24
- Interview for Kamera.co.uk 1999, retrieved 2010-10-24
- BBC Manchester 20 October 2010: West is West follow-up confirmed by Salford film writer, retrieved 2010-10-24
- Internet Movie Database: Ayub Khan Din awards, retrieved 2010-10-24
- Internet Movie Database: Rafta, Rafta, retrieved 2010-10-24
- All in Good Time at the Internet Movie Database
- West is West, BBC Films, retrieved 2010-10-24
- School of Make-up biography, retrieved 2010-10-24
- TES Connct: Rasshied Din interview 1998, retrieved 2010-10-24
- Ayub Khan-Din at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Ayub Khan-din about "East is East", from 1999