Please tell us about your brand of comedy - what can audiences expect?

Aatif Nawaz

Aatif Nawaz

Brands are really formal. I've never really thought of myself as a brand. I just try and tell jokes and funny stories from my weird little perspective. This year there'll be a lot of reflection on the things we absorb as a society and let pass through us. And getting rid of the gross ones. A bit like comedic aura cleansing.

Which comedians have been your biggest influence since you decided this was your path?

The beautiful thing about stand-up comedy is that it's infinite. Every week I discover a new comedian than blows me away. From the likes of Omid Djalilli, Rowan Atkinson, Robin Bill Burr, Shazia Mirza...I mean...I have a very big list...and I like to think I'm a little influenced by them all.

What random things make you laugh in everyday life?

People getting angry at crosswords. Racists with poor grammar. Halal Hot-Dogs at the cinema. WhatsApp-print saris. And the endless quest of Pakistani men to make that perfect shepherd's pie. People debating the merits of baseball over cricket.

Please tell us about your best and worst moment on stage so far.

Best was probably getting on stage for the BBC's Comedy night. Doing stand-up on TV for the first time was something very special and...not to brag or be arrogant or anything but...nailed it!

Worst moment was the first night of last year's fringe where I raced onto stage from the aisle, not realising the previous act had left a puddle of (let's hope) water on the stage and I slipped...was suspended in the air for what felt like 60 seconds and then promptly landed on my bottom. I styled it out though with a bit of fake breakdancing moves and the crowd was forgiving.

Do you still get nervous when you do a gig?

Every now and again. At this point, I feel like I'm STILL proving myself night in night out, so the pressure is always on. Though over time I feel like I've learned how to channel that energy on stage...

Why is Edinburgh Fringe Festival such a great platform for comedians?

There are so many. Comedians. Comedians everywhere. Comedians as far as the eye can see. It's so incredibly inspiring, gets those idea synapses firing.

Who are you looking forward to seeing as an audience member?

Anyone who'll walk up to me after the show and say 'Aatif, that was magnificent. The world needs to see your mad skills. Let me take you around the world to perform and share your talent. And let me pay you very very well to do so'.

What is your advice to aspiring comedians?

Do it for love of the game. You're very unlikely to be the next Michael McIntyre. But if you love what you're doing, it won't matter.

What is the oddest heckle you've ever received?

Show us your passport.

What is next for you?

After the Fringe, I'll probably do a run of the show in London, maybe take it to Pakistan and Tanzania again (I know...I got the lucrative Tanzanian Comedy Scene on lock).

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