ENTERTAINMENT
07/07/2018 08:10 BST | Updated 10/07/2018 14:30 BST

Comedian Shazia Mirza On Birmingham, Balti And Brexit

HuffPost UK took Shazia back to her hometown to see how much things have changed.

Comedian Shazia Mirza has never been one to shy away from discussing her background in her stand-up material, and as a proud Brummie, there was nobody better to talk us through the changes the city has gone through over the years. 

Born to parents who moved from Pakistan to Birmingham during the 1960s, Shazia tells HuffPost UK of the transformation she has seen it undergo, after leaving at the age of 19 to move to London. 

HuffPost UK
Shazia Mirza returns to her hometown of Birmingham

Shazia says she was seen as “exotic” as a child, as her family were the only Asians living on the terrace street in Harborne she used to call home - something which seems unbelievable now for one of the most diverse cities in the country. 

As Shazia returns to her roots for our HuffPost Listens project, she also admits her shock at how the city voted to leave the EU, blaming what she calls “immigrant on immigrant racism”.

She says: “Some of them see the new influx of immigrants from eastern Europe and think, ‘Hang on, we were here first. We can’t have the immigrants coming over here stealing the immigrants’ jobs.’”

HuffPost UK
Shazia goes back to one of the very first stages she performed on - at her secondary school

In the short documentary, Shazia also discusses that famous Brummie humour which has aided the success of other comics such as Jasper Carrott, Frank Skinner and Joe Lycett, and how everyday occurrences in the city help inspire her comedy. 

Watch Shazia’s trip down memory lane in the video above... 

HuffPost UK

HuffPostListens – Birmingham

HuffPost wants to get out of the media bubble and tell the real story of the UK. For one week in July we relocated our newsroom to the heart of Birmingham and invited people to tell us what they care about - we listened, followed their tips, and went out and reported on what we heard. We’re also hiring more reporters out of London, starting in Birmingham. We don’t think the media has listened to people enough, so that’s what we’re doing. Listening to the stories of Birmingham, opening up our newsroom to its people and telling the real story of Britain from the heart of one of its biggest and best cities. You decide the news. We’ll tell your story. Birmingham, be heard. #HuffPostListens

Read more about the project here