Shazia Mirza

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Shazia Mirza
Shazia Mirza02.jpg
Mirza in September 2010
Born (1979-10-03) 3 October 1979 (age 38)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Medium Stand-up, Television, Writing
Nationality British
Years active 2003–present
Genres Observational comedy, Satire, Deadpan, Self-deprecation, writing
Subject(s) Comedy, Observational comedy, Social commentary, Family
Notable works and roles The Jonathan Ross Show Loose Women, The Late Late Show- Irish chat show The Wright Stuff Channel 5 (UK) The World Stands Up, Have I got News for You Last Comic Standing, CBS 60 Minutes Sky Arts, BBC Arts Night, F***K Off I'm a Hairy Woman, Radio 4- The Now Show, A Good Read,Saturday Live. Critically acclaimed sell out show 'The Kardashians Made Me Do It'

Shazia Mirza (Urdu: شازیہ مرزا‎; born 3 October 1978) is an English stand-up comedian, actress, and writer of Pakistani heritage. She is notable for her dead pan delivery and ground-breaking material especially sharp one liners. Her latest critically acclaimed show is "The Kardashians Made Me Do It" (2016).[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Mirza was born in Birmingham, England, in 1979 as the eldest daughter to Pakistani Muslim parents who moved to Birmingham in the 1960s.[4][5][6][7]

Earlier in her life, Mirza was a science teacher in a secondary school and taught Dizzee Rascal, now a rapper.[8][9][10] Mirza read Biochemistry at the University of Manchester and then did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London. She also attended Rose Bruford College where she studied acting. On 24 September 2010 Mirza was awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Rose Bruford College, Sir Richard Eyre was made President of the college at the same ceremony.[11][12][13]



About a year into her stand-up comedy career, Mirza gained UK-wide publicity in the months when the world was coming to terms with the September 11, 2001 attacks. This was because at this time she would begin with the deadpan remark, "My name is Shazia Mirza. At least, that's what it says on my pilot's licence". She was profiled as a ground breaking comedian on CBS 60 Minutes America's oldest and most watched newsmagazine where she was interviewed by the legendary Ed Bradley. In April 2007, she presented a documentary on BBC Three called F*** Off, I'm a Hairy Woman[14][15] which was the highest rating TV Show for BBC Three at that time. She has since performed stand up comedy on many TV shows around the world, USA, Canada, Holland, Paris, UK. Performing at Winnipeg Comedy Festival Canada (4 times) Halifax Comedy Festival Nova Scotia Canada, Lund Comedy Festival Sweden 2012, 2014, 2015 & 2017 Malmö Comedy Festival 2013, Kings and Queens of Comedy Singapore 2016 & 2013. She has performed at Glastonbury Festival numerous time, Ilkley Literature Festival 2012 & 2016, Hay Festival 2012 & 2016, Dalkey Book Festival[16] alongside Bob Geldof, Michael Gambon, and Brian Eno, Wirksworth Comedy Festival 2016, Latitude Festival 2016, Cat Laughs Comedy Festival Kilkenny Ireland 2016 & Galway Comedy Festival 2016. She performed many times with Robin Williams at The Throckmorton Theatre Mill Valley, California. She has performed at The Edinburgh Festival for many years doing around seven solo shows. Her latest show 'The Kardashians Made Me Do It' has been a critically acclaimed sell out 71 date tour, including 4 sell out runs at London's Soho Theatre, gaining rave reviews[1][2][3][17]

The show has been performed in the UK, Sweden, Ireland and France and been written about in numerous publications all over the world. It has been described as a brave and groundbreaking piece of comedy.[citation needed]


Mirza is a prolific writer has been a regular columnist for The Guardian since 2008.[18] In 2006, she also began writing a fortnightly column in the New Statesman magazine, for which she won Columnist of the Year 2008 at the prestigious PPA Awards. She has had a regular column in Dawn News, www.DAWN.Com, published on a Saturday. She has also written numerous in depth articles for FT Magazine The Daily Telegraph and more recently for Chicago Tribune.[19] A piece written for the FT Magazine on 12 February 2016 titled 'From playground to warzone' was the most read article in the FT Magazine that week.[20]


Mirza appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show in March 2016 with Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, and Luke Evans.[21] Also appeared a guest on Loose Women and The Late Late Show Ireland (RTE1)- The world's longest running chat show. She is a regular panelist on the Channel 5 topical discussion series The Wright Stuff.[22] In 2016, she appeared as a panelist on The Dog Ate My Homework.[23] She has also appeared on Have I Got News for You with Boris Johnson.[24] She also played a main role in Episode 2 of the sitcom The Vessel playing an inconsiderate Doctor.[25] Since then she has been in a short film Aleeza Harriett & Mrs.Milton and a feature film 'Arifa'. In 2010 Mirza appeared with Jeff Goldblum on Midweek presented by Libby Purves.[26] She has also done the 'Pause for Thought' live on BBC Radio 2 on the Vanessa Feltz show every week since 2013[27][28] Shazia appeared on The Graham Norton Show[29] on BBC Radio 2 in January 2017. In March 2017 she appeared on BBC's Top Gear as the star in the reasonably fast car. In September 2017 she appeared in Celebrity The Island with Bear Grylls Channel 4. She was one of the final six people who survived to the end.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2002 Winner of The London Comedy Festival and Hackney Empire New Act of the Year
  • 2002 Runner Up Birmingham Comedy Festival
  • 2003, The Observer lists her as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.[30]
  • 2008, Awarded Columnist of the Year at PPA Awards 2008 for her bi-weekly column in the New Statesman magazine which she shared with the comedian Julian Clary
  • 2009 Semi-finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing season 6 in the United States
  • 2010 Awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
  • 2010 Winner AWA The Arts and Culture Award.
  • 2016 Named as one of the most influential Londoners in the annual London Evening Standard "1000 Most Influential People in London" in the comedy category.


  1. ^ a b "Edinburgh 2015: Shazia Mirza, A Work in Progress, The Stand, review: 'brave and urgent'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Shazia Mirza, comedy review: nothing if not brave". Evening Standard. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Laughs in the face of terror | Tribune". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  4. ^ Mckeown, Jack (27 May 2016). "Shazia Mirza: The Kardashians Made Me Do It". The Courier. 
  5. ^ Shazia Mirza (2010-04-12). "Halal comedy? You might as well ask for halal bacon". London: The Guardian. 
  6. ^ "Life – The Times". 
  7. ^ Mirza, Shazia (3 August 2008). "What I know about men". The Guardian. London. 
  8. ^ Time Out London: Shazia Mirza: interview 17 June 2008
  9. ^ Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter Shazia Mirza's weekend column 22 May 2010
  10. ^ Interview: Shazia Mirza Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. 23 June 2010
  11. ^ College. "Rose Bruford". 
  12. ^ BEAN, DOMINIC (8 December 2016). "ROSE BRUFORD COLLEGE". Rose Bruford College. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Rose Bruford College Appoints its first President - Rose Bruford College". Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "F*** Off I'm A Hairy Woman, Series 2, Body Image - BBC Three". BBC. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  15. ^ Mirza, Shazia (2007-02-14). "How I learned to love my hairy bits". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  16. ^ "Dalkey Book Festival". 
  17. ^ "REVIEW: Shazia Mirza – The Kardashians Made Me Do It at Exeter Corn Exchange". Exeter Express and Echo. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-12-08. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Profile: Shazia Mirza". London: The Guardian UK. 2008-07-23. 
  19. ^ "Chicargo Tribune". 
  20. ^ "Shazia Mirza: From playground to warzone". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  21. ^ "The Jonathan Ross Show Episode 11". "ITV Press Centre". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  22. ^ Wright, Matthew; Johnson, Eric; Duffy, Kirsty (2000-09-11), The Wright Stuff, retrieved 2016-12-08 
  23. ^ "The Dog Ate My Homework - CBBC - BBC". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  24. ^ "Have I Got News for You: Shazia Mirza, Boris Johnson". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  25. ^ thevesselseries (2012-10-28), How to get pregnant - The Vessel Episode 2 - Shazia Mirza, retrieved 2016-12-08 
  26. ^ "MIDWEEK". BBC. 
  28. ^ Pause for Thought. UK: BBC Radio 2/ Watkins Publishing. 2016. ISBN 9781780289809 – via The book features an exciting range of commentators with great public profile, such as the comedian Shazia Mirza 
  29. ^ Norton, Graham Norton Radio Show (28 January 2017). "Graham". Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  30. ^ The A-Z of laughter (part two) The Guardian 7 December 2003

External links[edit]