Dino Shafeek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dino Shafeek
Shafeek as Ali Nadim in Mind Your Language.
Gholam D. Shafeek

(1930-03-21)21 March 1930
Died10 March 1984(1984-03-10) (aged 53)
London, England
Other namesDino Shaffer
Alma materDacca University
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Years active1967–1983
Known forChai Wallah Muhammed in It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–1981),
Ali Nadim in Mind Your Language (1977–1979)

Dino Shafeek (born Gholam D. Shafeek, 21 March 1930 – 10 March 1984) was a Bangladeshi actor.[1] Born and raised in Dacca, Bengal Province, he moved to the UK from East Pakistan in 1958 and appeared in several sitcoms 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.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Dino Shafeek was born Gholam D. Shafeek in Dacca, Bengal Province, British Raj (now Bangladesh) in a reputed family from Old Dacca. His father was Golam Merajuddin Ahmed, whose occupation was listed as "sugar technologist". After leaving school, he attended Dacca University and graduated with a BA.


Shafeek was involved with amateur theatre in Dacca and, after emigrating to England in 1958, enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His first film role was as 'Akbar' in the film The Long Duel (1967), starring Yul Brynner.[citation needed]

It Ain't Half Hot Mum[edit]

It Ain't Half Hot Mum was a BBC comedy series written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the creators of Dad's Army. Set in World War II British India, it follows the fortunes and activities of a concert party troop attached to the Royal Artillery. The series was produced by the BBC and broadcast from 1974 to 1981 and starred Windsor Davies as the staff sergeant-major of the troop's barracks in Deolali, Bombay Presidency.

Shafeek plays "Chaiwallah Muhammad", selling tea from his ever-ready urn with his catchphrase "chai garam chai (Eng. 'tea, hot tea')." He also sings the musical interludes between the scenes, which are mostly popular World War II era hits accompanied by a sitar. At the end of the final credits he starts to sing "Land of Hope and Glory" only to be interrupted by the Sergeant-major shouting his ubiquitous ear-shattering "SHUTUPPP!!!." Muhammad was later promoted to bearer when the actor who played Rangi Ram (Michael Bates) died after Series 5 was recorded. The caustic though affectionate relationship between Muhammad and his superior Rangi Ram provides additional comedy through their representations of the different religions and castes in colonial India.

Mind Your Language[edit]

During the run of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Shafeek played the part of student Ali Nadim in the ITV/London Weekend Television sitcom Mind Your Language (1977–79). Along with Barry Evans as their teacher, Ali was one of a group of people from diverse backgrounds in an English as a Foreign Language class at a London night-school. Ali was a Muslim Pakistani who had emigrated to the United Kingdom, and was frequently seen bickering with Ranjeet Singh (Albert Moses), a Sikh from India. Ali told Ranjeet he will "kick [him] up the Khyber" ("Khyber Pass" being rhyming slang for "arse"). As the series progresses, their relationship mellows into one of friendly and mutual supportiveness.

Other roles[edit]

Due to the worldwide syndication of the aforementioned sitcoms, Shafeek became a well-known character actor to both British and international audiences. He played character parts in films and TV such as Carry On Emmannuelle, Minder and The Onedin Line.

His last role was in High Road to China starring Tom Selleck.


Dino Shafeek died suddenly from a heart attack whilst at home in London with his fiancé Leslie Didcock on 10 March 1984, eleven days before his 54th birthday.



Year Title Role Notes
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
1982 The Stanley Baxter Hour 1 episode: Christmas special


Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Long Duel Akbar
1968 The Charge of the Light Brigade Indian servant
1972 Young Winston Sikh Soldier
1976 Queen Kong Indian Uncredited
1977 Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers Indian watchman
1978 Carry On Emmannuelle Immigration Officer
1983 High Road to China Satvinda (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1967 A Touch of Brightness Pidku Royal Court Theatre, London
1968 In the Penal Colony The Prisoner Arts Laboratory, Drury Lane, London; adaptation by Steven Berkoff
1970 To Anchor a Cloud Asaf Khan King George's Theatre, London
1971 Captain Brassbound's Conversion Hassan Cambridge Theatre, London
1977 A Clean Break Anwar Hassan Ravi Shankar Hall, London
1979 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Char Wallah Muhammad Stage adaptation of TV series; regional tour commencing at Pier Theatre, Bournemouth
1980 Dick Whittington and His Cat London Palladium, London
1981 Dick Whittington and His Cat London Palladium, London
1982 Gandhi Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London
It Ain't Half Hot Mum Char Wallah Muhammad Stage adaptation of TV series; regional tour commencing at Futurist Theatre, Scarborough
Dick Whittington Sultan of Morocco Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol



Year Title Label/Cat No Notes
1975 It Ain't Half Hot Mum – Featuring the Artists from the Popular BBC-TV Series EMI Records EMC 3074 Appears as Chai Wallah Muhammad
1983 Tony Fayne's Back Rosie Records RR 008 Guest appearance

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dino Shafeek". IMDb. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  2. ^ Morgan-Russell, Simon (1988). Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0 7190 6555 0.
  3. ^ 1935-, Aram, Vicky, (2011). Coal mines : confessions and dance halls. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781456770624. OCLC 698173699.

External links[edit]