Shappi Talk. Shaparak Khorsandi. Copyright: Open Mike Productions
Shappi Talk

Shappi Talk

  • Radio stand-up / chat show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2009 - 2010
  • 8 episodes (2 series)

A Radio 4 comedy series in which Shappi Khorsandi explores what it is like being brought up in the UK within a non-British family. Stars Shaparak Khorsandi and Hils Barker.

Press clippings

The immensely likeable Shappi Khorsandi gets personal in this second series of four themed shows. Today's topic is divorce: Khorsandi, a recent divorcee and now a single mother, discusses the horror of resuming dating and the process of explaining the situation to her small son. It's the perfect subject matter for her style: fresh and incisive but warmly inclusive and, often, sharply self-deprecating.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 22nd December 2010

Shappi Khorsandi interview

As she takes to the stage at the Edinburgh festival, comedienne Shappi Khorsandi talks about her father's exile, bulimia and why she has taken refuge in comedy.

Bryony Gordon, The Telegraph, 25th August 2009

On Thursday (Radio 4, 6.30pm) the wonderful Shappi Khorsandi continued her excellent Shappi Talk, in which she discusses her own unconventional upbringing and gets other people along to talk about theirs. Last Thursday's programme was about parents. Khorsandi is Iranian and, she said, when she was growing up she wanted to become a doctor. "My parents pushed me into stand-up comedy. They said: 'Only Western whores become doctors.'" And so on in like vein.

Her father, as many know, was a satirist who got into the sort of trouble satirists get into in Iran. "The regime there robustly advocates free speech," Khorsandi said, "but there is no freedom after you've exercised it. He criticised the mullahs and things became a bit ... death-y."

The Khorsandis went into exile in Britain - "A fatwa is the closest thing an Iranian writer gets to a literary prize" - where, of course, Khorsandi has now become a glittering addition to the comedic firmament. And a published author. "I said to my Dad: 'I've written a book.' He said: 'Has anyone threatened to kill you?' And I said no and he said: 'Then it can't be very good.'" There are two more programmes. Try not to miss them.

Chris Campling, The Times, 22nd July 2009

Shappi on assassination threat

Comedian Shappi Khorsandi, 35, was born in Iran but fled to Britain with her family after the 1979 revolution when her father received death threats for writing jokes about the Islamic regime.

Graeme Green, Metro, 13th July 2009

Talented comedian Shappi Khorsandi has been about quite a bit recently - whether appearing on Have I Got News for You or giving interviews about her satirist father's longtime exile from Iran and her upbringing in the UK from the age of six (a rich source for her stand-up material). So I was a bit bemused by the first of her four shows - this one's about racism. Initially sounding like a traditional stand-up with an audience, her routine is then punctuated by an interview with Meera Syal, a short set by Felix Dexter and a comedy song from Hils Barker. There are some funny observations from Shappi about the "rainbow of thuggery" in today's multicultural gangs and what being of mixed race really means. Perhaps she should do more of the talking and less of the interviewing/introducing.

Jeremy Aspinall, Radio Times, 9th July 2009

New comedy series from Shappi Khorsandi, whose lilting voice and ingenue manner have brought lots of bookings on chat and panel shows, whose Anglo-Iranian background comes in handy for longer interviews (on a recent Front Row, for instance). Here she will explore four themes, talking to people whose views compare, compliment, maybe contradict her experience of being from a non-British family. Today it's racism. Khorsandi's guests are Meera Syal, writer, actress, comedian (whose early big breaks came on Radio 4) and St Kitts-born comedian Felix Dexter.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 9th July 2009

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