Fringe: Tez Ilyas interview

TEZ Talks is the debut Edinburgh show by British Muslim Tez Ilyas, one of the hottest rising stars on the comedy circuit. AAA caught up with Tez for a chat.

  • How has your Fringe been so far?

Really very excellent! Enjoying it a lot. Trying to keep a level-head between the shows.

  • Tell us about the show you’re in…

It’s a satire. It’s basically presenting my life as a Muslim in Britain in 2015, but in a slightly silly, what if you were in my shoes kinda way.

  • What’s the audience reaction been like?

Really positive thankfully! I keep being told it’s a brave show, but the people who see it really take to it and I hope that continues…

  • When did you realise you were funny?

When people laughed at things I said and did.

  • Were you the class clown?


Oh very much so, and I thoroughly enjoyed the notoriety.

  • Can comedians get away with saying things no one else can?

I think so. Because you can ultimately say… ‘Well, it was only a joke mate’. David Cameron doesn’t really have that luxury.

  • Was there a comedian who inspired you?

These days, I’d say Stewart Lee, but in the past, Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle too.

  • Are there any other shows on this year’s you’d recommend?

God yes! Dane Baptiste, Sarah Callaghan, Aatif Nawaz, Tiernan Dioueb, Mike Wozniak and Fern Brady.

  • What’s on your hit-list to see?

Nick Cody I’m hearing good things about, so wanna check him out, and Kraken.

  • What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I saw Austentatious, ate ice cream and fudge, smoked shisha and just evaluated my life choices.

  • Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I really like Mother India Cafe and Ten to 10.

  • What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen this year?

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho. I loved it, but it has to be seen to be believed!


Tez Ilyas: TEZ Talks, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), until August 30, 7.15pm, £12 (£10),








Questions: Gary Flockhart