Imran Yusuf

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Imran Yusuf
Born (1979-11-26) 26 November 1979 (age 34)
Mombasa, Kenya
Medium Stand-up, Television
Nationality British
Years active 2003–present
Genres Observational comedy
Subject(s) Racism, Relationships, Islamophobia
Influences Dave Chappelle
Website www.imranyusuf.com

Imran Yusuf (born 26 November 1979) is a Kenyan-born British stand-up comedian of Indian descent. Yusuf came to notice following rave reviews and a Best Newcomer nomination for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards[1] at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010 and appearing on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, both in the summer of 2010.

Early life and career[edit]

Yusuf was born in Mombasa, Kenya, and initially grew up in Hackney, East London, before moving to Harrow, North-West London. Both his parents and two older brothers became refugees of the economic war following the expulsion of Asians from Uganda by Idi Amin in 1972. Yusuf also attended school in the USA from 1992 to 1993 and attended William Allen III Middle School in Moorestown, New Jersey.

He initially worked in the video game industry, where he worked at the European office of the American company Midway Games. He worked on the development for several Midway video games such as Spy Hunter (2001). He also worked for the UK publisher Eidos Interactive on the Championship Manager franchise in 2005. He also had ambitions to work for Nintendo in Japan.[2] Some of his other influences included anime and comedian Dave Chappelle.[3]

Comedy career[edit]

Imran Yusuf initially performed two open spots in 2000 at a comedy show hosted by comedian Jeff Mirza, but then did not choose to pursue stand-up comedy in until the summer of 2003 while on sabbatical from his career in the video games industry. He was the first winner of the "You Must Be Joking" stand-up competition at Newbury Comedy Festival in 2004. In 2010, he finally made his impact at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010 with his first solo show An Audience with Imran Yusuf receiving five-star reviews[4] and a nomination from the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards for Best Newcomer. Yusuf was the first performer in a free show to have received a nomination for the award.[5] Later that summer, Yusuf appeared on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.[6][7] This performance on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (BBC One) and subsequent Edinburgh Comedy Gala (BBC Three) captured millions of viewers,[8] setting Imran on course to become a household name.[9] October and November saw Imran begin crafting his 2011 Edinburgh show with special invitation gigs, plus releasing official confirmation of his 43 date UK tour An Audience with Imran Yusuf starting in February 2011 at London’s Soho Theatre. On radio, Boxing Day 2010 saw Imran's debut on BBC Radio 7's The Now Show for a satirical look at current affairs and news. The special 45-minute show used Radio 4’s format for an extended show with Imran and guests. A follow-up appearance on BBC Radio 4's prestigious The News Quiz came soon after in February 2011, along with his television debut on BBC Two's How TV Ruined Your Life with Charlie Brooker, offering an opportunity to see Imran in sketch-show action in the episode "Aspiration". Further to this, between March and April Imran made a second appearance on The Now Show and a debut special guest slot on Arthur Smith's Balham Bash (BBC Radio 4 Extra).

Summer 2011 soon saw more great news and opportunities coming for Imran when Zai Bennett, controller at BBC Three, green-lit The Imran Yusuf Show[10] for a broadcast pilot in anticipation of a series for the show. Interest from BBC America also saw Imran record a performance for Funny As Hell,[11] a stand-up series presenting the best of British comedy in the United States. Soon came Edinburgh Fringe 2011 where Imran took his all new show Bring The Thunder to the festival. Continuing with the previous year's trend of recording TV slots during the festival; Imran recorded a section of his show for Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live 2011[12] and BBC Comedy Presents: Free@TheFringe.[13]

Tours[edit]

Following Imran’s performance on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Best Newcomer Nomination at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, his debut 43 date UK tour An Audience with Imran Yusuf hit the road in Spring 2011. With an engaged following of fans on Twitter, facebook and Imran Yusuf Fan Club friends, the tour came as a direct response to demand[14] to see his Edinburgh 2010 show on the road.

Television Credits[edit]

  • The Imran Yusuf Show - BBC (2012)
  • BBC Comedy Presents: Free@TheFringe (2011)
  • Edinburgh Comedy Gala (2011)
  • How TV Ruined Your Life (2011)
  • Edinburgh Comedy Gala (2010)
  • Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow - series 2 (2010)
  • Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live (2010)
  • Laughtershock (2010)
  • Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off (2009)

References[edit]

External links[edit]