Hardeep Singh Kohli Talks Indian Takeaway
I caught up with broadcaster, writer and Celebrity Masterchef finalist Hardeep Singh Kohli to discuss Twitter, Scientology and, of course, his current tour, Indian Takeaway where he races against the clock to cook the audience an Indian meal before the best local takeaway delivers to the venue. I also took the opportunity to try and blog a free curry:
Thanks for speaking to us Hardeep. Can you let us in on a bit about your Indian Takeaway Tour?
It’s a celebration of Indian food in Britain. It composts the home cooked meal with the phenomenon of the restaurant trade in the UK. You can expect stories, fun and audience interaction. And curry!
It’s certainly not a traditional comedy show. How did the concept come to fruition?
I’d like to claim credit but I can’t! I think it was my manager’s idea – he’s also one of my best friends. I’ve been touring comedy/cookery shows for a few years and I think they have all been leading up to this!
Which is worse, a bad review of your jokes or a bad review of your food?
Food. There is a much wider threshold of subjectivity in comedy. Less so in food.
Have you had any onstage cooking disasters?
Thankfully not yet.
This is your third live show and they have all revolved around the cooking theme. What’s next?
Who knows? That’s the joy of this life. No idea what’s round the corner.
I remember watching a documentary you presented about Scientology a few years back, as a Scottish Sikh, born in England who attended Catholic School. It must have been quite the experience.
It was an amazing insight and experience. It’s rare these days to be offered an underside documentary project, one where you can truly experience something. And it was intellectually challenging. The Producer/Director went onto produce The King’s Speech!
Has that experience influenced you or your comedy in any way?
Every experience in life has an impact to some degree. I wouldn’t say that the scientology documentary had any more or less of an impact.
You’ve had your fair share of ups and downs in your career. What advice would you give to aspiring comics like myself and our readership?
Just be true to yourself. That’s all that you can do. When the critics have melted back into the darkness and the audiences are tucked up in bed, all you have left are the voices in your head. Hopefully at least they will be nice to you.
You love a bit of Twitter. What are your thoughts on comedians using social media in light of recent incidents with material being taken from Twitter and going viral without any credit to the author? We’re sure Cheggers is livid…
What can you do? If you choose to publish material online I think you have to accept that some unscrupulous folk will appropriate it.
Thank you for your time. As a final question, now that we have spoken will you finally give in to my Twitter requests for you to deliver me a curry and cold beer to Edinburgh?
Absolutely. As long as you pay shipping.
Hardeep Singh Kohli can be caught touring the UK throughout 2013 with Indian Takeaway. All the details of dates and venues can be found here.
If this interview has left you feeling a bit puckish you can also read up on Hardeep’s top five Indian restaurants here.