• Monday, July 15, 2024


Aatif Nawaz: Cricket, comedy and creating laughter on stage

Multitalented British funny man discusses the new tour of ‘The Muslims Are Coming’, comedy, and his successful time as a cricket commentator

Aatif Nawaz

By: Eastern Eye

Whether it is commentating on highprofile cricket matches or generating laughter as a stand-up comedian, Aatif Nawaz has found different ways to entertain audiences.

This week, he joins other British talents for popular comedy show ‘The Muslims Are Coming’, which returns for another UK tour. The latest tour adds to the many live shows from him and promises to be a hot ticket.

Eastern Eye caught up with the multitalented British funny man to discuss the new tour, comedy, and his successful time as a cricket commentator.

How do you reflect on your stand-up comedy journey?

It’s been more than a decade and I’m still going. People seem to still want to see me and enjoy my work. So, it’s going well. I still enjoy being on stage more than anything.

Where does cricket commentary fit into everything now and is comedy still
the main focus?

It’s a balancing act. Sometimes I wish there were two of me. But generally, I manage to squeeze things in. I feel blessed to be able to do two dream jobs. Sometimes a bit overwhelmed. But mostly grateful.

What has the experience of doing cricket commentary been like?

For a lifelong diehard cricket fan like me, it’s nothing short of a dream come true. Imagine you get to go to the stadium and sit in the best seat in the house. Next to someone who’s a legend of the game like Jimmy Anderson or Waqar Younis. And you get paid to talk to them and about the game you’re watching. Sometimes, I feel like I won a contest to be there.

What do you think has been your most memorable moment during your time working in cricket?

There have been so many. I’ve been so lucky to meet and work with so many of my heroes growing up. Being at the 2019 (World Cup) final. Touring Pakistan with England. Perhaps the most memorable was being on commentary when Pakistan beat India in a World Cup for the very first time in 2021. It was a big moment.

How much are you looking forward to The Muslims Are Coming tour?

I’m always excited to be back on stage and as always, immensely grateful to Luv Entertainment for continuing to book me. We had an amazing time last year, playing to some wonderful audiences. Hoping for more of the same this year.

What can we expect from the show?

The Muslims Are Coming is not unlike any other comedy show I suppose. I guess thematically, being Muslim and what that means day to day will come up a lot. But it’s all universally relatable. And of course, everyone’s welcome. What is it like being on a line-up with other comedians and is there any friendly rivalry? We all know each other so  well and for so long. I can’t speak for everyone, but certainly nothing but love and respect here. I’m always so thrilled to see my fellow comics thriving. We eat together. We travel together. Share life experiences. It’s a lifelong bond. Not unlike siblings.

Has being funny ever got you out of trouble?

It helps me get through passport security every time.

What is the secret of great stand-up comedy?

To enjoy the craft and process. I think that sincerity and genuine love for comedy will come through to audiences. And if you genuinely love what you’re doing, it makes it all the simpler to keep a level head. Maintain a steady mental balance and enjoy the work.

What inspires you as a comedian?

Life and people. The weird and wonderful things we do is inspiring.

Why should we come to The Muslims Are Coming tour?

(Laughs) Because I’m on it, do you really need another reason? If you don’t like me, don’t worry. There are some world class
comedians coming soon to a city near you to do a very special kind of
show. How could you miss it?

The Muslims Are Coming tour commences a UK tour at Newhampton Arts Centre, Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN on Saturday (29); and The Top Secret Comedy Club,170 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PD on May 4. For further dates and lineups of the tour that runs until June, visit www. luventertainment.co.uk

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