AWARD-winning comedian Shazia Mirza experienced a lightbulb moment as she was enjoying a holiday in San Tropez last year.
“I was on a beach, which became a nudist beach at the end of the day,” she explains. “A woman walked past wearing nothing but an intimate diamond accessory – and we all pretended we saw nothing.
“Then a few days later, France banned the burka. So… it’s OK to wear nothing but the diamond accessory but the burka is banned.”
Shazia, 38, is on tour with her new show, With Love From San Tropez, following its launch at last summer’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and comes to the Komedia in Brighton on March 27.
It’s a show about lies and truth (or is that the same thing?), nudity and the periodic table – things, she says, hold the key to the future. How much do you wear? What do you look like, and will they let you in? Oh, and don’t you dare wear more than dental floss on a French beach.
Famous for her deadpan delivery, it’s her keen sense of observation that feeds Shazia’s narrative. “I travel a lot and I will listen to people and their conversations,” she says. “I’m an observer.”
Named by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy in 2008, Shazia has performed all over the world, including her sellout 2016 tour The Kardashians Made Me Do It, which explored politically correct liberalism, the intrusion of ISIS into young British lives and Jihadi brides.
Not long after the tour, she took a speedy turn (2.07 seconds to be exact) in BBC2’s Top Gear’s A Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment, and more recently, she went back to basics in Channel 4’s Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls. A regular panellist on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, she has guested on ITV’s Jonathan Ross and Loose Women. Her Pause For Thoughts can often been heard on Radio 2’s Vanessa Feltz Show.
Also an award-winning columnist for The New Statesman, she writes a weekly column Diary of a Disappointing Daughter for The Guardian.
“My parents are always complaining that they’re never at my shows,” says Shazia, who grew up in Birmingham and lives in London. “But imagining my 80-year-old father listening to me talking about intimate accessories… no. My parents just want me to get married.”
Shazia Mirza: With Love from San Tropez is at the Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, at 8pm on Tuesday March 27. Tickets £14/concs £12. Phone 01273 647100 or visit komedia.co.uk/brighton/.