BAFTA nominee Guz Khan says Man Like Mobeen was a ‘fluke’ as he highlights lack of diversity in industry

The comedian says dramas tend to tell "the same story".

Guz Khan

He’s been nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for his comedy performance in Man Like Mobeen, but comedian Guz Khan cannot believe his luck, and admits the show which now has three seasons was actually a fluke.

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Speaking at the BAFTAs pre-ceremony, Guz – who created the BBC Three comedy in 2017 – said: “We completely fluked this thing. None of it was trained.”

He continued: “I’ve spoken about this imposter syndrome and flipping hell, sometimes you turn up on set and you’ve written these words on paper and there’s like 30/40 people behind the camera and you’re ready to go and if you take a minute to think about it, you’re like ‘Oh, what if it’s s***!'”

To overcome these feelings, Guz tries to “keep it natural”, saying: “The primary aim of the show is to say some real s*** and make people giggle.”

Man Like Mobeen follows the life of lead character Mobeen – played by Guz – who wants to follow his faith, lead a good life, and make sure his sister fulfils her potential, all while his criminal past is catching up with him.

Guz revealed that it was vital for him to write such a broad character, as he addressed the lack of diversity in drama shows, which he says tend to tell “the same story”.

He said: “I think what you’ll find in terms of comedy, I’ve seen themes and characters, voices and stories that I don’t see in drama. There was a big budget drama thing last year, but it was still the same thing, like muslim terrorist, but this time she’s a lady, muslim terrorist. Wow what a twist! It’s like, “Yo, brudda it’s the same story you’ve been telling all this time!”

Guz Khan Man Like Mobeen
Man Like Mobeen Season three
BBC

Instead he wanted a character which he felt gave a broader reflection of his upbringing.

“In Man Like Mobeen there’s a lot of things that when I was growing up and amongst my social circles, that we would have loved to see people talking about on TV and having a laugh with,” he explained.

So, how then does he make sure he’s telling the “right” story?

“You have to be brave in a writing perspective,” Guz explained. “Ultimately we live in a time where you say something and if you’re wrong, your career is cancelled. So when you want to stand up and take a stand through comedy and say something important, you have to be brave with it and sometimes not worry about the repercussions.”

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The Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards will air on Friday 31st July from 7pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.