“I believe that comedy is colour blind,” says the Harrow comic whose off colour and hilarious routines have firmly established him as one of the UK’s favourite comedians. Sharp, funny, sometimes controversial but certainly never dull, Comedian Paul Chowdhry is currently leaving audiences in the UK laughing with his “Live Innit” tour which heads through the Midlands to Cardiff and the North of England in December, finishing in June of next year in Aberdeen. The show, which the York Express described as “Not suitable for “those of a sensitive nature”, and definitely not for the under 12s,” follows on the heels of his 100-date, sold-out and three times extended, 2015 tour, PC’s World.
Beyond a joke
Born in Edgware to a Punjabi Sikh family, Paul, who was born Tajpaul Singh Chowdhry, began his career in 1998 as a stand up comedian before going on to become a star of television and film.
A self confessed ‘odd child’ with little academic inclination, Paul discovered at an early age that he had a talent for making people laugh – much to the despair of his teachers at primary school and The Harrodian School in Barnes who would regularly make him leave the classroom for disrupting the other children. A dead end job in Dixons at the age of 17 convinced Paul that he was meant for greater things and, after starting his stand up career at 24, his first major break came with a small part in the film Rogue Trader starring Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel. Other films followed including It Was An Accident, Bollywood Queen and Colour Me Kubrick but comedy remained his first love and, in 2003, Chowdhry became the first British act to perform at the Caribbean Comedy Festival in Trinidad.
Laugh and the world laughs with you
Known for his outspoken and sometimes shocking commentary on race, sex and culture and his catchphrase “What’s happening, white people?” Paul has often divided critics with his refusal to place any topic off-limits during his routines which often gently mock his own family, upbringing and culture – with his talent for accents, his mimicry is often cuttingly accurate. Of his unique take on comedy, Paul says, “”You can be a crowd pleaser or make people think. I like to mix the two.”
43 year old Paul still lives and works in Edgware close to his childhood home – his company Paul Chowdhry Productions is based at Berridge Green and he is very close to his three siblings and his parents who live nearby. Describing his family as supportive, Chowdhry jokes that his close proximity to them ‘is handy if I want to get some dinner’ but, despite the jokes, his affection for his family and the area he grew up in is evident. His father, who came to the UK from India in 1964, first worked as a bus conductor before buying a newsagent and sandwich shop in the area and he recently was seen in the Sony Xperia mobile phone television advert alongside his famous son who is the face of the brand.
A master of mimicry and reinvention, Chowdhry’s stand up routines led to television work, beginning as a guest panelist on programs such as 8 out of 10 Cats and Comedy World Cup before going on to more regular appearances on Comedy Classics, BBC Network East and Stand Up For The Week, the hilarious topical news show on which he began as a panelist and then went on to host in 2015. Keen eyed viewers may also have spotted him in Holby City, Noel’s House Party and Tonight with Trevor McDonald.
In addition to his live, television and film, achievements, Paul is also the winner of the Asian Professional Media Award (2014), the Loaded Laftas Funniest Stand Up (2013), the Observer’s Critic’s Choice Award (2005) and the South African International Comedy Festival Critics Award (2003).
What’s happening, Paul Chowdhry?
In addition to completing the current tour (a stonking 42 dates), Paul will be playing a cameo role in Hollywood movie, Method Of The Madness, which is directed by Jason Mews and stars fellow Brit, Vinnie Jones.
For more information on Paul Chowdhry, visit: http://www.paulchowdhry.com/ (innit)
Fans can also buy two DVDs of Paul’s live shows; What’s Happening White People? (2012) and PC’s World (2015).
By Nicci Rae