Iranian comedienne Shappi Khorsandi is looking forward to her Welsh Tour dates. “My brother went to Glamorgan University and my first proper boyfriend was from Bridgend, so I remember delicious times as a student in Wales,” she shares. But it was only when Shappi referred to social networks and confessed to being a ‘demented avid Tweeter’ that I found she has another more tenuous link with Wales; she describes herself as a ‘Welsh songstress’ on her Twitter account. “Ah, yes that,” she laughs, “well, when I set up my Twitter account Katherine Jenkins was everywhere in the Media being described as a Welsh songstress. I quite liked the title so thought I would steal it. But I’m not Welsh and I don’t sing.”
She is however well known for her sharp humour. “I think comedy is like the Priesthood,” she explains, “it’s just a calling and you have to follow the path; though it’s more like a business these days! I was also interested in journalism and Youth Theatre but I think if I hadn’t become a comic, I’d be very frustrated and very loud at parties.”
The energetic, stand up comic continues, “I find it hard to relax and am like a coiled spring most of the time but I do like gardening. Although I’ve only got a small garden, I love doing stuff in it with my son. We buy ready-made plants from the garden centre and do things like grow tomatoes and then let them rot. I actually don’t do enough peaceful stuff, and I would like to do more gardening. My son is only 4 years old and up to now has had a tendency to eat soil and squash worms so it has all been more like damage control than gardening but hopefully we’ll do more this year.
“Running also relaxes me. I only got serious about it last April and have joined a British Military Fitness group and am running Brighton Half Marathon on the 19th February to raise money for Wateraid. I’m grateful for all sponsorship at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Shappi,” she adds. “ I couldn’t do without running now. I live near Richmond Park and run every morning. A friend has roped me into a 10 mile assault course later in the year too. I have always wanted to do an Outward Bound course in Wales, so perhaps I’ll come back to do that.”
Despite a busy lifestyle, Shappi has found the time to write a book. “It’s called a Beginner’s Guide to Acting English”. I hate the title but the publisher chose it. It’s a drama/documentary about my childhood from 0-11 years old. It’s not a comedy biography and people have tweeted me to tell me it made them cry which is bitter-sweet. I’m also writing a new show called Dirty Looks and Hopscotch which is all about little girls and how we are bombarded with ‘stuff’ and all the things we have to deal with. I chose that title,” she adds.
Follow Shappi on Twitter @ShappiKhorsandi