Here at the Cornfield Magazine we had the chance to catch up with one of British comedy’s most exciting rising stars, Tez Ilyas.


Tez is heading out on his debut nationwide tour, ‘Made in Britain’, his second stand up show, which sold out every single performance (including extra shows) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 and gained spectacular critical acclaim. The 26-date tour kicks off on 21st March with a 5-date run at London’s Soho Theatre and culminates on 25th May in Bordon’s Phoenix Arts Theatre.

And…we had the chance to catch up with the man himself…

1. Happy New Year to you Tez! What did you get up to this New Year?

Thanks mate. Happy New Year to you too, if it’s not too late for that? I was on stage when the clock struck midnight. I was on a stand-up tour, raising money for Aleppo Gaza, for the whole of December, which culminated in a final show on Christmas Eve. Never not working, I mean we even worked Christmas Day!

2. Any New Year resolutions? Aims or Goals?

Er… I put on over a stone during the tour, so, need to shift that, or get an abortion, whichever shifts the weight quicker. I’d also like to go LA this year, see what’s going on over there.

3. Tell me a little bit about your 2017 tour ‘Made in Britain”?

Well it’s the first time I’ve been on tour under my own name, so that’s exciting. It’s my Edinburgh show of the same name and it’s about my non-mainstream British experiences.

4. So, after the success of your debut show, TEZ Talks, I hear you were awarded a place on the BBC Writers Academy? Tell me a little bit more about your involvement?

It was really fun! They put together 15 of the most exciting up-and-coming comedy writers in the country, and me. We received loads of mentoring and workshops on how to succeed in this business. It was really useful.

5. What’s your biggest pet hate?

I would say people who overreact to things… I f*ckin HATE that, I’m serious, like I could strangle those b*stards!

6. When not touring or when not doing any comedy, what do you most enjoy doing? 

Netflix and chilli! It’s like Netflix and chill, but there’s less sex and more chilli.

7. Who are your inspirations in the comedy world?

Ooh lots, from stand-ups like Dave Chapelle and Stewart Lee, to writers like Chris Morris, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I have a real diverse taste.

8. If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be and why would you like to travel there?

Jerusalem. It’s of personal importance to me, but also I think it’s just a fascinating part of the world from an observational perspective, which is of course a huge part of my job.

9. When was it that you knew you wanted to become a comedian?

I think after the first time I got on stage and people laughed at things that I wrote. I thought damn, I can do this and I’ve worked at it relentlessly ever since.

10. Most Embarrassing moment during a performance…

I once got heckled so badly, I just cut my performance short and called it a night. Finish him: fatality.

11. What is the best thing about your job?

The questionnaires.

12. The worst thing…

When the questionnaires finish.

Tez Ilyas 'Made in Britain' will be at Birmingham Mac on April 27th, for tickets please visit 


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