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Shafeek as Ali Nadeem in Mind Your Language.
|Born||Gholam Mohnddin D. Shafeek
21 March 1930
Dacca, East Bengal, ( later Pakistan,now Bangladesh), British India
|Died||10 March 1984 (aged 53)
Cause of death
|Other names||Dino Shaffer|
|Education||Bachelor of Arts|
|Alma mater||Dacca University
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
|Known for||Chai Wallah Muhammed in It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974-1981),
Ali Nadim in Mind Your Language (1977-1979)
Dino Shafeek (occasionally known as Dino Shaffer) (21 March 1930 – 10 March 1984) was a Bangladeshi actor and comedian based in the United Kingdom and the star or co-star of several popular English TV comedies during the 1970s and early 1980s. He is best remembered for playing the part of Chai Wallah Muhammed in the BBC sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum as well as the role of Ali Nadim in ITV sitcom Mind Your Language.
Shafeek was born in Dacca, East Bengal (now Bangladesh), British India. He came from a poor family though little else is known of his early life. He went on to matriculate from a high school in Dhaka and then attended Dacca University where he gained a Bachelor of Arts. During this time, Shafeek became very active in amateur theater in Dhaka. In the 1950s, he came to England and enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Due to his inexperience Shafeek struggled to find fulfilling acting roles after graduating from Guildhall School. He was largely confined to playing minor supporting parts such as immigrants, taxi drivers, tourists or customs officials. His first film role was as ‘Akbar’ in the film The Long Duel (1967), starring Yul Brynner.
It Ain't Half Hot Mum
In the series written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the creators of Dad's Army and set in World War II British India, Shafeek plays “Chai wallah Muhammad.” The series aired on the BBC from 1974–1981 and starred Windsor Davies as the loud-mouthed staff sergeant-major of the Royal Artillery barracks in Deolali, Bombay Presidency and Michael Bates as the “Hon.Bearer to the British Concert Party” Rangi Ram. It featured in supporting roles Donald Hewlett as Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Reynolds, Michael Knowles as Captain Ashwood, George Layton as Bombardier 'Solly' Solomons, Melvyn Hayes as Gunner/Bombardier 'Gloria' Beaumont, Don Estelle as Gunner ‘Lofty’ Harold Sugden, Christopher Mitchell as Gunner ‘Parky’ Nigel Parkins, John Clegg as Gunner ‘Paderewski’ Jonathan Graham and Stuart McGugan as Gunner ‘Atlas’ Mackintosh.
'Muhammed the chai wallah walks around the camp all day, selling tea from his urn with his catchphrase “”chai garam chai.” We can also hear him sing the musical interruptions between the scenes, which are mostly popular World War II era hits, accompanied by a sitar. At the end of the credits he starts to sing “Land of Hope and Glory” only to be interrupted by the Sergeant-major shouting his ubiquitous “SHUTUPPP!!!.” He was promoted to bearer when bearer Rangi Ram left the series (Michael Bates died after Series 5). Comedy is provided by the caustic though affectionate relationship between Muhammad and his superior Rangi Ram, with Rangi frequently calling him “you damn fool.”
Mind Your Language
During the run of It Ain't Half Hot Mum he played the part of Pakistani student Ali Nadim in the popular if politically somewhat incorrect ITV/London Weekend Television sitcom Mind Your Language (1977–79). Shafeek played as Ali Nadim on the show along with Barry Evans and a motley group of foreigners in a London night-school “English as a second language class”. Nadim was a Pakistani living in the United Kingdom. In the show, Ali Nadim was frequently seen quarreling with Ranjeet Singh (Albert Moses), a Sikh from India. Ali called Ranjeet names like “poppadum” and frequently tells him that he will “Kick him up the Khyber” ("Khyber Pass" being truncated rhyming slang for "ass") and calls him a “damn fool.” In the early episodes this relationship is depicted as quite caustic with the characters frequently having verbal and occasionally physical arguments, but the relationship warms as the series progresses and becomes positively friendly towards in the later episodes.
Ali is a character who speaks more than he is required to on some occasions, for example in the episode “The Best Things In Life,” he unwittingly tells the sergeant that Mr Brown was trying to bribe him. He is usually the last to arrive in class and jovially enters the room with the cry “Hello everybodys” and appears to be unaware that Mr Brown finds this habit annoying. Ali Nadim also pronounces Excuse me please as “Squeeze me please.”
Due to the world-wide syndication of the aforementioned sitcoms, Shafeek became a well-known character actor and comedian to both British and international audiences. He played character parts in films and TV such as Carry On Emmannuelle, Minder and The Onedin Line.
|1967||Softly, Softly||Anwar||2 episodes: The Target: Part 1: Sighted, The Target: Part 2: Point Blank|
|1968||The Jazz Age||Abas||1 episode: The Outstation|
|The Champions||Manservant||1 episode: The Dark Island|
|1969||The Troubleshooters||Abdhul||1 episode: You're Not Going to Believe This, But...|
|Special Branch||Majid||1 episode: The Promised Land|
|1971||The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder||2nd Priest||1 episode: Man with a Strange Tattoo|
|The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes||Ali||1 episode: The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds|
|1974||...And Mother Makes Five||Gypsy||1 episode: If I Can Help Somebody|
|1976||Centre Play||Demonstrator||1 episode: Commonwealth Season: Trinidad - Home Sweet India|
|1977||The Onedin Line||Jaun||1 episode: When Troubles Come|
|The Fuzz||1st Pakistani||1 episode: Coppers Under the Sun|
|1977-1979||Mind Your Language||Ali Nadim||29 episodes|
|1979||Hazell||Raiji||1 episode: Hazell Bangs the Drum|
|1980||Minder||Mini Cab Driver||1 episode: All About Scoring, Innit?|
|1974-1981||It Ain't Half Hot Mum||Chai Wallah Muhammed||56 episodes|
|1981||Into the Labyrinth||Suleiman||1 episode: Shadrach|
|1967||The Long Duel||Akbar|
|1968||The Charge of the Light Brigade||Indian servant|
|1972||Young Winston||Sikh Soldier|
|1977||Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers||Indian watchman|
|1978||Carry On Emmannuelle||Immigration Officer|
|1983||High Road to China||Satvinda|
Dino Shafeek suddenly died from a heart attack on March 10, 1984.