Shaparak “Shappi” Khorsandi is an Iranian-born British comedian and author. She is the daughter of the Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi. Following the Islamic Revolution her family left Iran when she was a child.
Shappi’s career has taken her to all corners of the globe, she has appeared on countless TV & Radio shows including; Mock The Week, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Have I Got News For You, QI, Just a Minute & other flagship radio 4 programmes.
Early Years & Childhood
Shappi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1973 and moved to London in 1979 when she was six. She and her family sought asylum in the UK after the Islamic Revolution as her satirist father, Hadi, composed a poem which criticised the Ayatollah and the new regime.
‘’ I knew my father was a wanted man because people would make horrible phone calls. I’d pick up the phone and it would be some person spouting bile about him and threatening to kill him…”
‘’My mum was the quiet rock. She’s unflappable. Nothing and no one ever gets on her nerves, she’s endlessly patient and very, very strong.’’
Shappi graduated from King Alfred’s College, now the University of Winchester, in 1995, with a degree in Drama, Theatre and Television, then moved on to pursue a career in comedy.
She has received an honorary doctorate from Winchester University for her contribution to the arts and recently received the prestigious James Joyce award from Dublin University.
Shappi performs comedy, having been a performer at Joe Wilson’s Comedy Madhouse throughout 1997. In July 2009, she hosted her own four-part series, Shappi Talk on BBC Radio 4, examining what it is like growing up in multi-cultural families. In 2010, Shappi took part in Channel 4’s Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the Arts Emergency Service, a British charity working with 16 to 19 year-olds in further education from diverse backgrounds.
“I wanted to do something I enjoyed and becoming a comedian gives me more freedom than I could have imagined.”
A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English, is her childhood memoirs and her best-selling literary debut. The book describes the way in which Khorsandi experienced England as a young girl.