Iconic comedy series Still Game returns to BBC One for series eight
Sanjeev Kohli plays Navid Harrid
One of the joys of this series is we’ve got the wonderful Craig Ferguson joining us which was amazing. I’ve been a fan of his since I was 16 years old and I think he’s brilliant.Sanjeev Kohli
Grumpy and blunt, Navid is the master of one-liners and although he moans about Meena, he loves her with all his heart. A practising Muslim, Navid watches from afar, secretly wishing he could join in with the others. Navid speaks in a unique way that combines his native Indian accent with various Glaswegian slang terms.
Who is Navid Harrid?
Navid is the richest guy on the estate, he is the local shopkeeper and has been there for around 50 years and has developed this line in Glaswegian patter which is unique. Navid’s shop is the community hub along with The Clansman - it’s the place where people meet and chat. He has a hilarious relationship with the two women in his life - his wife Meena and Isa the cleaner. But it’s not really Navid that runs things it’s his wife Meena from the back of the shop.
Meena is heard but we’ve never seen her face, does she wear the trousers in the Harrid’s marriage?
Oh absolutely, there’s no question about that. I remember a student asking me if the reason we don’t see Meena’s face is some sort of comment of the invisibility of women in Asian cultures. I explained it’s not that at all, far from it. Meena always has the last word, she’s the boss and it’s clear that in the pecking order, she’s top dog. This whole not seeing her face business is just playful comedy gold.
Navid doesn’t always join in with the others. Why is that?
I think the way the boys have written Navid’s character he’s something of a philosopher, Craiglang’s very own Buddha. He floats above things like drinking and gambling.
There was that brilliant episode last series where he took over the pub for the day and he’s so judgemental. For the most part he does take part in things, he is very much part of the community despite the fact that he is richer than the others.
What comedy comes calling in this new series?
The beauty of the live shows we’ve done is we can take Still Game off in a slightly different direction but fans want the telly show to be more of the same comedy they know and love. One of the joys of this series is we’ve got the wonderful Craig Ferguson joining us which was amazing. I’ve been a fan of his since I was 16 years old and I think he’s brilliant.
Any stand out moments from this new series?
I loved doing the football stunt. In the last series I was doing the whole One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest moment throwing the water cooler through the window stunt which was amazing. And then doing the Breaking Bad parody was brilliant.
Navid gets to play some football in this series which was good fun - and it was slightly different.
We’re very on point because it’s all about walking football which is a big deal at the moment and in that episode I get to do my own stunts which will be memorable I promise you. I had such a laugh doing that. I think viewers will love it.
The aging process for Still Game is amazing - how do you find it?
You just get used to it. It used to take around 90 minutes to age us all back in the beginning but now it’s around an hour. The thing is when you’re sitting in that make-up chair for that length of time being aged it does help you get into your character more. When Navid’s beard gets glued on I start to change - when you know that you look convincing it changes everything.
I have to wear a big padded tummy which means I become much more imperious and walk differently - I become much more like my dad actually. He’s not got that big a belly admittedly but there’s a lot of my dad in Navid and beyond that Glaswegian Asian shopkeepers are generally my inspiration.
Which other comedy would you like to star in?
There’s the new Alan Partridge series so I would love to get involved in that. I love pretty much anything that Armando Iannucci is involved in. I was lucky enough to do a day’s filming on the new film about Laurel and Hardy which stars Steve Coogan. I didn’t get to do any dialogue with him sadly but I was lucky enough to be in the same scene as him. I also really love Derry Girls too so maybe if I work on my Northern Irish accent I could get a role in that!
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