Omid Djalili recalls terrifying encounter where he was nearly killed

Comedian Omid Djalili recalls the terrifying moment he was shot at with an air rifle in shocking attack while at university in Northern Ireland

Omid Djalili has opened up on a terrifying encounter he had whilst at university in Ireland where he was almost shot in a targeted attack.

The Iranian-British comedian, 57, who grew up in Kensington, started his former years of adulthood at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, where he studied English and Theatre studies.

He attended university in the mid 80s while the Troubles were ongoing, and has now spoken about being shot at with a rifle in a shocking incident. 

Talking on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories, Omid recalled the horrifying moment where he was targeted.

He said: ‘I was one of three ethnic minorities at university. Once I was throwing stones on Portstewart Beach. 

Scary: Omid Djalili has opened up on a terrifying encounter he had whilst at university in Ireland, where he was almost shot 

‘These guys come over to me and they said “Do you want your kneecaps blown off?” 

‘I got shot at with a rifle and I ran away, they came chasing after me, I hid behind a bin.’

‘And then on the Monday morning I told my professor and he said “don’t report it. If we report it, they’ll say who it is and then they’ll come and kill you”,’ he added.

Thirty years down the line, actor Omid has appeared in several smash hit films, including The Mummy alongside Brendan Fraser and Gladiator starring Russell Crowe.

But there was one moment in the particular that changed it all for him – a letter from a Cardiff drama school, after he failed to get a place there.

After graduating Omid, who forged his grades to get to higher-education, was desperate to go to drama school and applied for 16 drama schools in total. 

The last drama school he applied to was in Cardiff and after paying a £50 fee to just apply and then being rejected, he asked for feedback.

Omid explained how his feedback letter changed his life, saying: ‘The letter said we felt with you there was nothing we could do with you. 

Open: Talking on Kate Garraway ‘s Life Stories, Omid recalled an extremely horrifying moment where he was targeted

‘You look different, you sound different, we couldn’t place you in our programme but we think you are already the finished article, go out there and try and get work by yourself.’

From this advice, Omid kickstarted his acting and comedy career, he said he was ‘always thankful’ to the drama school. 

He said: ‘I took their advice. Everything I auditioned for I got. I’m always thankful to them because they said just go out and do it.’

Omid’s success has taken him as far as being one of King Charles’ favourite comedians.

Recalling a time he even met the Queen, Omid teased she was a ‘little bit tipsy’.

He said: ‘I remember meeting the Queen once and I didn’t have a tie and I left my collar open.

Successful: Omid’s success has taken him as far as being one of King Charles’ favourite comedians

‘The Queen had already had a bit of a drink and she was a little bit tipsy and happy and making her way down saying hello to people.

‘She got to me and she looked down at my collar and kind of did this sound that said “you dared to do it and you got away with it, I like it”‘. 

Omid’s appearance on the ITV show marked himself as the third and final guest of the series on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories.

She has also interviewed Ruby Wax and Anton Du Beke.

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