‘Will Allah be OK with this?’: inside the BBC's first British-Muslim sketch show

They joke about airport security and overindulging over Ramadan. Meet the creators of Muzlamic, the trailblazing comedy exploring the contradictions of modern Muslim lifeAs Ali Shahalom and Aatif Nawaz scan the faces on the walls of the boardroom we’re in, their faces light up. “The BBC have put us in the brown room!” laughs Shahalom, gazing up at the cast of Goodness Gracious Me. It feels fateful that this is where we meet in Broadcasting House, given the impact the pioneering British-Asian sketch show had on these two comics. (“That was the first time I ever saw brown people on TV,” says Shahalom. “That did something to me.”) These days he and Nawaz are the trailblazers; they are about to launch Muzlamic – the first British-Muslim sketch show ever broadcast on the BBC. From airport interrogations to a childrens’ author forced to answer extraneous questions while plugging a book called The Diary of a Friendly Squirrel (“Don’t you think it was insensitive to release it so soon after the anniversary of September 11?!”), the Muzlamic pilot is made up of bite-sized chunks that never outstay their welcome. In one sketch, which they refer to as “the whitest brown guy”, two feuding colleagues stalk one another around an office in Stevenage, playing top trumps with facts like “I’m so white I have a loyalty card at Greggs” and “I think a C is a really good grade.”Shahalom and Nawaz often offer up a jester v straight man dynamic, with Shahalom playing loveable buffoons like... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2019-07-18 13:28:25 UTC ]
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