Shazia Mirza

Riding the 50 bus from the Maypole, appearing in hit TV shows and touring the world… the comedian and writer, Shazia Mirza has done it all, but still has plenty of ambitions – including appearing in a Bond film!

Picture credit IDIL SUKAN


Where to begin! The Jonathan Ross Show, Loose Women, the Late Late Show, Top Gear, the Graham Norton Show, Celebrity the Island – Bear Grylls. The Kardashians Made Me Do It has been a sell-out success in the UK, US, Sweden, Ireland and Paris and completed three sell-out runs at London’s Soho Theatre with the tour being extended for six months. I have toured all over the world and also met the Queen three times!


My role is to make people laugh, to convey my thoughts, opinions and feelings about whatever I like. Mainly I talk about things I feel strongly about, that anger me, confuse me or irritate me. I have to feel something about what I’m saying otherwise I can’t say it and make it funny. The attitude is more important than the material. You make anything funny if you have a great attitude behind the material.


I always have ambition. I feel that I need to be doing things, changing things, be aware of things, learn new things and put a stop to other things. I always want my comedy to develop and I want to write better and better jokes about things that you probably can’t joke about in real life. I would like to work with Quentin Tarantino and Larry David, would like a Netflix Special and do some movies, get my sitcom made and write loads more stuff. Also I’d like to be in a Bond film.


Doing a UK tour with nine points on my licence! I had to drive from venue to venue, the slowest I’ve ever driven in my life because this was my last chance before getting banged up. Every time I saw a camera I’d be driving at 10mph. I’m sure other drivers thought I was drunk because the only people who drive that slowly are drunk people or my mum.


Never listen to anyone. They are all wrong. What do they know anyway? In your work, always say what you want to say. Don’t be dictated to by the audience, critics, your friends or colleagues. Everyone will try and sway you, thinking they know what you need to say, but only you know what you need to say and, if you don’t, then you need to take some time away and find out who you really are.


The people. Get on a bus – the number 50 ¬– and listen to people’s conversations. I can get hours of material from a ride just from the Maypole to the city centre. Once I heard one woman tell her friend how she was planning on ‘getting rid’ of her husband to get her hands on his life insurance. Everyone on the top deck heard it but they went all British and pretended to read their papers. I thought it was hilarious and wrote it down straight away.


I travel a lot and always explore wherever I am. If there is water, I swim in it. I can swim for hours – it’s the only place where no one can get you…

Shazia brings her brand new show to Coventry's Warwick Arts Centre on 17 November. Keep up to date with all things Shazia at