Asim Chaudhry

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Asim Chaudhry is a British comedian and actor best known for playing Chabuddy G in the BBC mockumentary series People Just Do Nothing, which he co-created. For this role, he won a Royal Television Society Award and was nominated for two British Academy Television Awards. In 2015 and 2016, Chaudhry starred in the mockumentary Hoff the Record alongside David Hasselhoff. In 2018, Chaudhry appeared in series six of the panel show Taskmaster and starred in the television film Click & Collect alongside Stephen Merchant.

At college, Chaudhry met Hugo Chegwin, Steve Stamp, and Allan Mustafa, with whom he created YouTube mockumentary videos about a fictional pirate radio station. This led to the group being commissioned for People Just Do Nothing. Chaudhry also authored How To Be a Man under the name Chabuddy G, and the group produced music as Kurupt FM. Chaudhry wrote and directed the short film Love Pool, and has appeared in Happy New Year, Colin Burstead and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Early life[edit]

Asim Chaudhry is from Hounslow, London. In high school, Chaudhry made a play parodying the 1972 crime film The Godfather, called The Poppadom Father. On a media studies course at college, he met Hugo Chegwin, Steve Stamp, and Allan Mustafa.[1] The group made a series of YouTube mockumentaries, filmed by Chaudhry,[2] based on their experiences as DJs on a pirate radio station in London. The mockumentaries were seen by Ash Atalla, producer of the mockumentary series The Office, and Atalla commissioned the group to make the BBC Three series People Just Do Nothing.[1]

Career[edit]

People Just Do Nothing[edit]

Chaudhry co-created and starred in People Just Do Nothing, a BBC mockumentary sitcom which premiered in 2014. The series is largely improvised. Chaudhry plays Chabuddy G, a failed entrepreneur with high ambitions who manages the group Kurupt FM.[3] The character is partially based on Chaudhry's father.[2] The programme ended in 2018 after five series, as the group found it increasingly difficult to come up with new ideas. A film is planned, along with a US remake in which Chaudhry will serve as an executive producer.[4]

Chaudhry won a 2017 Royal Television Society Award for Best Comedy Performance.[5] He was nominated for two British Academy Television Awards for Best Male Comedy Performance, in 2017 and 2018.[6][7] The show also won awards for Best Scripted Comedy at the 2017 BAFTAs[8][9] and 2017 RTS Awards.[5]

Chaudhry, Hugo Chegwin, Steve Stamp, and Allan Mustafa also perform as the group Kurupt FM. Their single "Heart Monitor Riddem" was released in 2016 after featuring in People Just Do Nothing, and a music video shot by Chaudhry was released in 2018.[10] Kurupt FM were signed to independent music label XL Recordings. Their single "Suttin Like That" was released in October 2017,[11] and their mixtape The Lost Tapes was released in November 2017.[12] Chaudhry has also released a comedy book, How to Be a Man, under the name Chabuddy G.[3]

Film[edit]

In 2016, Chaudhry starred in the short film Donald Mohammed Trump as Donald Trump. The black comedy shows Trump inexplicably turning into an Asian man before a Republican Party rally. Though Chaudhry watched hours of Trump speaking in preparation, he was told by the director to instead play Trump as "a real person", so that the film could focus on the politics of the situation rather than Trump himself.[13][14] Chaudhry also appeared in the comedy film Chubby Funny, about two struggling London actors, in which he played a corner shop owner.[15]

In February 2018, the 17-minute short film Love Pool was released, which Chaudhry wrote and directed. In Love Pool, single man Mark meets a woman while carpooling with the service Uber. The film was Chaudhry's directorial debut, produced by DMC Film and released on the app Vero. It was inspired by a dinner party in which Chaudhry felt pressure from his friends to settle down, and by his carpooling experiences. Chaudhry plays the taxi driver, imagining the character as the "pissed off, sour, bitter cousin" of Chabuddy G—his character in People Just Do Nothing.[16] The film won the 2018 People's Choice Award at Thunderdance, an independent film festival in London.[17]

In 2018, Chaudhry appeared in the comedy film Eaten by Lions, which is about half-brothers Omar and Pete who search for Omar's estranged father after their parents are eaten by lions.[18] It premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2018.[19] In a three-star review, Steve Bennett of Chortle called Chaudhry a "scene-stealer".[20]

On 24 December 2018, Chaudhry starred alongside Stephen Merchant in the BBC One television film Click & Collect, with a runtime of 53 minutes. The pair play Dev and Andrew, respectively, who travel 300 miles (480 km) on a road trip on Christmas Eve to buy Andrew's daughter a Christmas present. Chaudhry took inspiration for Dev from a former neighbour who recognised him from the television and waved at Chaudhry when he was in the kitchen, which he could see from his living room window.[21] Adam Starkey of Metro[22] and Jasper Rees of The Telegraph[23] gave the film four out of five stars. Rees commented that Chaudhry performed as Dev "as if slipping into an old coat".[23] Starkey praised the actors for "convincing, likeable performances" and wrote that Dev "takes the natural course from irritatingly vibrant neighbour to having a sympathetic, misunderstood circumstances for his enthusiasm".[22]

In 2018, Chaudhry appeared in the Ben Wheatley black comedy Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, playing Sham. The film had a limited release at film festivals before airing on BBC Two on 30 December; a BBC television series spin-off is planned for 2019. Neil Maskell stars as Colin Burstead, who hires a manor for a New Year celebration with his extended family.[24] Sham is an uninvited family friend who recently lost his job, and feels suicidal.[25][26] Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter criticised Chaudhry's character as one of several whose secondary subplots detract from the film.[26]

Chaudhry appeared in the interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which was released on Netflix on 28 December 2018. Part of the science fiction anthology series Black Mirror, Bandersnatch allows the viewer to make choices which affect the resultant story. The story is divided into 250 segments at a total length of 150 minutes, in which young programmer Stefan adapts a book into an adventure game and descends into madness. Chaudhry stars as Mohan Thakur, the founder of the video game company Tuckersoft.[27][28] The film received a mostly positive critical reception.[29][30]

Television[edit]

Chaudhry starred in the mockumentary Hoff the Record, which aired for twelve half-hour episodes across two series on Dave in 2015 and 2016. The programme follows David Hasselhoff as he struggles to find work in the UK, with Chaudhry playing his driver.[31] The show won an International Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series in 2016.[32] In a four-star review of the first episode for The Telegraph, Michael Hogan called Chaudhry "the standout among the supporting cast".[31]

In April 2018, Chaudhry appeared in an episode of Rob Beckett's Playing For Time, in which Rob Beckett plays a series of video games with his guest.[33][34] In May 2018, Chaudhry played Arnab in the Channel 4 sitcom High & Dry. The series of six half-hour episodes is about five people who survive a plane crash, and was filmed in the Seychelles.[35][36][37]

In 2018, Chaudhry was a contestant on the sixth series of Dave panel show Taskmaster; the ten hour-long episodes premiered weekly between May and July. Taskmaster challenges its panellists to complete humorous and absurd tasks, such as "bring in the best liquid".[38] The sixth series featured Chaudhry alongside Alice Levine, Liza Tarbuck, Russell Howard, and Tim Vine; it set record ratings for the programme,[39][40] with an average viewership of 900,000.[a] Sam Wollaston of The Guardian called Chaudhry "absolutely hopeless at everything, but hilariously and very likably so".[38]

Other[edit]

Chaudhry has appeared in a safety video for airline British Airways.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Average calculated from BARB's 28-day four screen viewership figures, excluding episode 7, for which data is not available. Ratings are (in thousands): 214, 886, 942, 830, 749, 730, 795, 875, 1090 (average 901). See Taskmaster (TV series)#Series 6 (2018).[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Armstrong, Stephen (4 May 2018). "People Just Do Nothing and High and Dry star Asim Chaudhry on his journey from call centre to cult comedy figure". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Clifton, Jamie (12 August 2016). "We Visited the Set of 'People Just Do Nothing' Series Three". Vice. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Wollaston, Sam (27 October 2018). "'The joke is always on us': how People Just Do Nothing struck comedy gold". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Johnston, Kathleen (17 December 2018). "Watch the People Just Do Nothing characters hijack GQ Hype". GQ. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b RTS Programme Awards 2017. RTS Awards 2017.
  6. ^ BAFTA TV Awards 2017: Full winners' list. NME.
  7. ^ Bafta TV Awards 2018: All the nominees. BBC.
  8. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2017: full list of winners". The Guardian. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  9. ^ Guide, British Comedy (14 May 2017). "BAFTA Awards 2017 - Comedy Winners". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Heart Monitor Riddem". Chortle. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ Moore, Sam (25 October 2017). "Listen to Kurupt FM's new single 'Suttin' Like That'". NME. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  12. ^ Nair, Ryan Lewis (29 November 2017). "Kurupt FM - The Lost Tape". Clash. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  13. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (3 November 2016). "Donald Trump becomes an Asian man in a new oddball short film starring People Just Do Nothing's Asim Chaudhry". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  14. ^ Duggins, Alexi (3 November 2016). "Donald Mohammed Trump: the satire holding a mirror up to Islamophobia". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  15. ^ Bennett, Steve (2 July 2017). "Chubby Funny". Chortle. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  16. ^ Fawcett, Cole (14 February 2018). "Chabuddy G interview: "Dating can be quite disposable now"". GQ. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ Abraham, Amelia (27 June 2018). "A Beginner's Guide to Launching Your First Short Film". Vice. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Jack Carroll shoots his first movie". Chortle. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  19. ^ Dessau, Bruce (23 May 2018). "News: Asim Chaudhry, Jack Carroll, Johnny Vegas Film Eaten By Lions Gets World Premiere". Beyond the Joke. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  20. ^ Bennett, Steve (21 June 2018). "Eaten By Lions". Chortle.
  21. ^ "'Of all The Office rip-offs, People Just Do Nothing is one of the best'". Chortle. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  22. ^ a b Starkey, Adam (24 December 2018). "Click & Collect review: Stephen Merchant and Asim Chaudhry are a charming force". Metro. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  23. ^ a b Rees, Jasper (24 December 2018). "Click and Collect, review: this odd-couple Christmas road trip high-fives the season of goodwill". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  24. ^ White, James (10 September 2018). "Ben Wheatley's Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Spawns A TV Spin-Off". Empire. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  25. ^ Lodge, Guy (14 October 2018). "Film Review: 'Happy New Year, Colin Burstead'". Variety. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  26. ^ a b Dalton, Stephen (11 October 2018). "'Happy New Year, Colin Burstead': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  27. ^ Rubin, Peter (28 December 2018). "How The Surprise New Interactive Black Mirror Came Together". Wired. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  28. ^ Allen, Ben (28 December 2018). "Meet the cast of Black Mirror's interactive film Bandersnatch". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Bandersnatch: The critics' verdicts on Black Mirror's interactive adventure". BBC. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  31. ^ a b Hogan, Michael (18 June 2015). "Hoff the Record, episode one, review: 'pluck and chutzpah in spades'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  32. ^ "Hoff The Record wins an Emmy". Chortle. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Channel 4 orders computer game show with Rob Beckett". British Comedy Guide. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Rob Beckett's Playing For Time: Series 1, Episode 2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "High & Dry: First look". Chortle. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Voodoo baby? What voodoo baby". Chortle. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  38. ^ a b Wollaston, Sam (9 May 2018). "Taskmaster review – panel game that celebrates the bizarre and the mediocre". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  39. ^ Howard, Kirsten (4 May 2018). "Taskmaster series 6: record ratings set". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Taskmaster gets record ratings". British Comedy Guide. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  41. ^ "Four-screen dashboard BARB". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 4 January 2019.