Q&A: Jay Islaam

Check out a short question and answer with Jay Islaam. Lots more Q&A's on our news page

7th Jul 2016

Q) Where and when was your 1st ever gig? How'd it go?

A) A special gig for people who've never performed before, at Edinburgh Fringe. Top deck of the bus parked on Cowgate. England were playing Scotland and the big match was being screened in the courtyard outside, so the only people at the gig were foreigners with no interest in the game. A professional comedian had helped us all craft our sets, who hated my material and told me I was going to die on my arse. I was last on the bill and watched all the other acts play to near silence. I stormed it. (At least, that's how I remember it.)

Q) Who/what were your main influences when you first started out as a comedian?

A) Frankie Boyle, Omid Djalili, Chris Lilley.

Q) What has been your biggest achievement to date?

A) The first national award I won, about 10 months after I started, will always be the highlight. It was totally unexpected, and convinced me to carry on at a time I was seriously considering quitting.

Q) If you weren't a stand up comedian what would you be?

A) Probably some kind of Autistic Supervillain, living in a mountain hideout, laying traps for James Bond.

Q) What has been your favourite gig to date?

A) Doing Fridays and Saturdays at The Stand in Glasgow. Ludicrously loud crowd and you had to stay on top of them. Every laugh felt like an achievement. And they laughed a LOT.

Q) And your worst?

A) Charity gig for a Christian Women's group. I only went on as a last-minute replacement. Huge assembly hall. Crowd at least 10 yards from the stage. No PA. Just a cheap karaoke speaker. I wrapped it up after 5 minutes of silence.

Q) Who is your favourite circuit comedian ATM? What new comedians should we watch out for?

A) Monty Burns is always a joy to watch. He's still very new, but Moses Ali Khan writes a lot of great gags. Josh Pugh is brilliantly dark and quirky. Rob Mulholland is one to watch out for. Craig Scott doesn't gig much, but he's perhaps the best joke writer in the country. There are a lot of Northern acts I adore.

Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A) I don't think that far ahead! Hopefully doing some national radio and TV work somewhere. A bit part in the final series of Game of Thrones would be nice. :-D

Q) Do you have anything to promote?

A) I'm going to premiere my debut solo show, Travels with Autism, at Edinburgh Fringe 2016. Click here

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Check out Hot Water Comedy Club at www.hotwatercomedy.co.uk

Disclaimer: The article above has been contributed by the event promoter or somebody representing the event promoter. As such we take no responsibility for accuracy of the content and any views expressed are not necessarily those of Skiddle or our staff.

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