Hilarious, moving and enlightening reflections on what it was like to come of age as a Muslim in 90s Britain, from the brilliant comedian Tez Ilyas.
'Essential...A complex blend of overexcited Adrian Mole-like anecdotes mixed with shocking moments of racism and insights into Muslim religious practices' Sunday Times
The hilarious and pubescent debut book from your favourite British Muslim comedian (that's Tez Ilyas, by the way) is coming to a shop near you. You may know and love Tez from his stand-up comedy, his role as Eight in Man Like Mobeen, his Radio 4 series TEZ Talks, or panel shows such as Mock the Week and The Last Leg. Where you won't know him from is 1997 when he was 13 . (But now you will - because that's what the book is about.)
In this suitably dramatic rollercoaster of a teenage memoir, Tez takes us back to where it all began: a working class, insular British Asian Muslim community in his hometown of post-Thatcher Blackburn. Meet Ammi (Mum), Baji Rosey (the older sister), Shibz (the fashionable cousin), Was (the cool cousin), Shiry (the cleverest cousin) and a community with the most creative nicknames this side of Top Gun.
Running away from shotgun-wielding farmers, successfully dodging arranged marriages, getting mugged, having front row seats to race riots and achieving formative sexual experiences doing stomach crunches in a gym, you could say life was fairly run of the mill. But with a GCSE pass rate of 30% at his school, his own fair share of family tragedy around the corner and 9/11 on the horizon, Tez's experiences of growing up as a British Muslim wasn't the fun, Jihad-pursuing affair the media wants you to believe. Well ... not always.
At times shalwar-wettingly hilarious and at others searingly sad, The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13 shows 90s Britain at its best, and its worst.
Radiantly entertaining - The Times
Blackburn's Chris Rock - The Guardian
Tez Ilyas's political stand-up is candyfloss with a razorblade inside: sweet and familiar at first, then shockingly, painfully sharp. It's the kind of manoeuvre that takes serious talent to pull off - The Telegraph
The razor-sharp narrative delves into [Tez's] life as a teenager growing up in Blackburn in the 1990s, who is caught between the ugly shadow of racism and the traditional values of a Muslim family connected to their roots - Eastern Eye
Essential...A complex blend of overexcited Adrian Mole-like anecdotes mixed with shocking moments of racism and insights into Muslim religious practices - Sunday Times
Tez Ilyas is one of the most exciting rising stars on the comedy circuit, cemented by his nomination for Club Comedian of the Year in this year's Chortle Awards. He was featured on the BBC New Talent Hot List in 2017 and was a Chortle Best Breakthrough Nominee in the same year. His 2015 debut stand up hour TEZ Talks had a sell-out run at the Soho Theatre and three hit BBC Radio 4 series based on the show followed. His 2016 show Made in Britain sold out every performance at the Edinburgh Fringe, and his third show Teztify achieved a sell-out nationwide tour and was released as a stand-up special earlier this year, racking up 65,000 views in a matter of weeks.
As well as delivering his politically astute stand-up, he is one of the stars of hit sitcom Man Like Mobeen (BBC Three) and has appeared on a host of panel shows, including Mock the Week and The Last Leg,as well as fronting his own critically-acclaimed cult-hit satirical series The Tez O'Clock Show (Channel 4). His own sitcom pilot (Blap) Bounty for Channel 4 has amassed over 800,000 views (the most-watched in the strand's 10-year history), his TEDx Talk has over 150,000 views and his Live at the Apollo performance has been watched over 10 million times online.
In September 2020 Tez launched his huge new nationwide tour show, Populist, for Autumn 2021.