Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Tez Ilyas

Tez Ilyas is definitely a comedian with a difference. There aren't many stand-ups out there with the manner and patter of a prime-time entertainer and the material and passion of a hard hitting satirist. The Blackburn comic successfully manages to pull together two very different styles, sweetening his political pill with a smile and a winning punchline. You may have caught him on Radio 4's Tez Talks or The Now Show or on television on Live from the BBC, Mock The Week, The Last Leg or Man Like Mobeen. Now see him live. He gave up a promising career in the civil service for this. It's the least you can do. And you won't regret it. Become a Tezbian now.

Tez Ilyas is at Soho Theatre from March 27 - 31. Buy tickets for Soho here. He then goes on tour. Dates and details here.

Picture: Steve Ullathorne

1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?

Put my phone away, probably checking my Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, yawn, get up and walk on as my name is said. I’m pretty relaxed these days. I used to be a bundle of nervous energy and found shadow boxing helped.

2. What irritates you?

Bad etiquette on motorways. It’s the closest I get to waging armed Jihad I think. The worst culprits are the self-appointed motorway police that block of a lane so dynamic thinkers like me don’t gain our God given advantage ahead of the lemmings in the queues.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

I jumped out of a plane once, that was pretty scary, but probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done is gig in Kent.

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

My cousin and I pretended to snort cocaine on a flight to Barcelona in 2003. We were met by sniffer dogs off the plane who stayed with us until we got out.

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How good I am at it. I wish I was even better. But I’m pleasantly surprised I’ve made it this far and no one has taken me to aside and gone: come on lad, give it up now eh?

Tez Ilyas Interview continues here.

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