Man Like Mobeen star Guz Khan comes to Bradford, Middlesbrough and York on 2024 live tour

Guz Khan is the creator and lead actor in a hit mainstream comedy show and in recent years has worked alongside the likes of megastar Pedro Pascal .

None of that has made much of an impression on his mother, it seems – and that’s just the way he wants it.

Khan, from Coventry, says: “When I come home, and I knock on my mum's door, and I say: ‘Mum, what’s going on, do you need anything?’ And she says: ‘Have you got a proper job yet?’ It’s a stark reminder that she doesn't care about me or anything I do, she thinks it’s stupid - and I think that’s allowed me to have a really good balance because, bro, I might be standing on set with Pedro Pascal…(but) at home, where it really matters…. Nobody cares, and I think for me, it’s such a good balance for keeping me match-fit, raw and ready.”

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However, if others see his achievements and it makes them think they have a chance at showbusiness, that can only be a good thing.

Stand-up comedian Guz Khan.Stand-up comedian Guz Khan.
Stand-up comedian Guz Khan.

“I stumbled into this when I was 30 years old - so seven years ago, eight years ago, whenever it was - and it's like, if I can get this stuff done from where I am and the life I’ve got, I think we've got so much talent in our communities. When I go to Bradford, I'm sure there’s going to be 10 people I chat to in the audience who on their worst day could have people in stitches. That's what I enjoy most about the success that I’ve managed to have, which is hopefully people looking and saying: ‘Flippin’ heck, if Guzzy can do it, we can give it a go as well.”

The stand-up comedian, who shot to fame with his show Man Like Mobeen, is coming to Yorkshire for stand-up dates early next year.

He says: “I work with a lot of stand-ups who are talented and they go to these festivals and they do their thing and they tell meticulously-crafted jokes. And what happens to me is I can’t behave myself, so I'll try and do the same thing and then I get out on stage, and then somebody says something from the right hand corner and we’re with them for 10 minutes and the whole crowd loves it and I love it.”

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It has been a feature of previous gigs in Yorkshire, with Khan, 37, singling out Bradford for the sense of camaraderie he feels with the audience.

Man Like Mobeen star Guz Khan is coming to Yorkshire.Man Like Mobeen star Guz Khan is coming to Yorkshire.
Man Like Mobeen star Guz Khan is coming to Yorkshire.

“The people of Bradford, brother - they are wild, man.”

Talking about previous exchanges, he references locations by postcode instead of area name as is custom in the West Yorkshire city.

“I said: ‘BD8, where are you?’ I said: ‘What’s the problem with BD8?’ He (an audience member) proceeded to give me an 11-minute insight into what's wrong with BD8. And I thought BD8 were going to kick off but they were like: ‘Yeah, he’s right, man’.”

The point is that when he comes up north, “I’m comfortable, I feel like I’m with my people,” he says.

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“I'm with people who want to have a laugh and understand what makes things funny and it just feels natural when I come up north, you know, and I can't wait to do it again.”

The fourth season of BBC Three’s Man Like Mobeen – which centres on the title character, who looks after his younger sister while trying to leave behind a life of crime in Small Heath, Birmingham – has recently been released and is on iPlayer. Khan was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme and the show – co-written with Andy Milligan - was in the running for Best Scripted Comedy at the 2021.

He sounds positive on the question of whether there will be a fifth outing, though cannot confirm anything, and praises the BBC for picking it up in the first place.

“I thought that at the end of series three was the end. (But) there was such huge feedback. I’m such a big fan of the BBC, and especially BBC comedy, because if it wasn't for them, we would have never had Man Like Mobeen. You don't go to Netflix or Amazon, you know, they're not out here in the streets of Coventry looking for talent or noticing stuff online.

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“The fact that they’ve showcased such great British voices for comedy through the history is huge.”

While the corporation has explained to him that there’s a huge appetite for the show, that’s nothing he hasn’t already learned from fellow shoppers in Lidl demanding more, he says.

“I have to explain, it's not EastEnders, bro! There's not a 24-hour set ready to go.

“So I feel like I should give the people another go, but I do want it to be right so I just need a little bit of time. If we do go again, I'm sure people will know sooner rather than later and it's just what we try and do every time, to make it better than it was before.”

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He also appeared alongside Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillan, Keegan-Michael Key and Leslie Mann in Judd Apatow’s Netflix ensemble comedy The Bubble – a “surreal” experience, he says – while he is also voicing the role of Zane in Andy Samberg’s new US animated comedy series Digman!

Other credits include the period comedy Our Flag Means Death for HBO Max, Turn Up Charlie, the remake of Four Weddings and A Funeral and Curfew.

It’s been a huge few years professionally, but he never takes it too seriously.

“Being a dad and making sure my kids are good and they're focused in life and they're good people, that’s proper stress,” he says.

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“Aside from that, work stuff and stand-up and comedy and acting, like: I have a vision, I know what I'd like to do, I know the kind of stories that I want to tell, and then you do your best and everything kind of rolls from there.”

Guz Khan will perform at St George’s Hall in Bradford on Thursday, January 11; at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Saturday, January 20; and York Theatre Royal on Wednesday, January 31.