Comedian Shappi Khorsandi to be Honoured By the University of Winchester

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Comedian Shappi Khorsandi is to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Winchester at a graduation ceremony in Winchester Cathedral on 22 October.

Shappi Khorsandi

She is a wonderful role model to all our students because she had a dream – to be a comedian – and she pursued it relentlessly until she was successful. Humour can be an incisive way of analysing the world and Shappi brings both her extraordinary early story and the ordinary life of a woman and mother to bear in her comedy.

Shappi Khorsandi graduated from the University in 1995, when it was known as King Alfred’s College, with a degree in Drama, Theatre and Television before pursuing her ambition to become a stand-up comedian.

Born in Iran, Shappi was forced into exile with her family when she was three years old after her father, satirist and journalist Hadi Khorsandi, became the target of an assassination plot over comments he made in a magazine criticising the Ayatollah and his regime. Shappi published her first book last year, A Beginner’s Guide to Acting British which is an entertaining account of her cultural transition to British life.

Shappi is one of Britain’s most popular female comedians. She is currently on tour across the UK with The Moon on a Stick and she’s had sell-out runs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is a regular comedy performer on national TV and radio.

She presents BBC Radio 4’s Shappi Talk and has appeared on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News for You. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Quote... Unquote, The Now Show, Just a Minute and also contributed to From Tehran with Laughter.

Shappi is also a cultural commentator appearing on ITV’s Sunday Edition, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service and LBC and also in The Guardian, The Independent, Metro and on the BBC News website. She was also a panellist on BBC’s Question Time. Shappi has presented a series for the Open University and is a regular roving reporter for BBC South’s Inside Out.

“We are delighted to be able to honour Shappi Khorsandi,” commented Professor Elizabeth Stuart Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester. “She is a wonderful role model to all our students because she had a dream – to be a comedian – and she pursued it relentlessly until she was successful. Humour can be an incisive way of analysing the world and Shappi brings both her extraordinary early story and the ordinary life of a woman and mother to bear in her comedy.”

This year, the University’s graduation ceremonies take place from 20-22 October in Winchester Cathedral.

Media opportunity: Members of the press wishing to arrange photography, filming and interviews with Shappi Khorsandi need to contact the press office in advance by calling 01962 827678 or emailing press(at)winchester(dot)ac(dot)uk

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Lisa Preston
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