Talent

  • Humza Arshad

From creating one of Britain’s most viewed comedy channels out of his bedroom to being labelled “the most influential British Asian of his generation”, Humza Arshad has become one of the UK’s most popular and important British Asian personalities.

After graduating in drama from the famous Richmond Drama School and being taught by BAFTA winner, Tom Hardy, Humza quickly realised the number of roles available for a British Pakistani were both limited and predominantly stereotypical. Deciding to take matters into his own hands Humza saved up his earnings from working in his father’s school uniform store and bought himself a camera. In December 2010 Arshad wrote, directed and edited an episode called ‘Diary of a Badman’, based on a hapless twenty something year old male determined to prove his street credentials only to learn a moral lesson at the end of the episode. Uploading it to YouTube and going on holiday straight after, Humza returned to find the episode had hit one million views within ten days thrusting him into the spotlight as one of the most exciting new talents in British comedy. In 2011, his YouTube channel, ‘Humza Productions’ was the 7th most viewed on the platform, thanks to the insane popularity of ‘Diary of a Badman’.

Fast forward to now and over 80 mlliion views later, Humza became the first British YouTuber to have his own scripted comedy series on BBC Three playing ‘Gentleman Documentarian’ Ahmed Armstrong in the mockumentary series ‘Coconut’ also starring Nina Wadia.

As much as Humza enjoys making his fans laugh, equally important to him has been using his influence and comedy for a greater purpose. In 2015, Humza partnered with UK Counter Terrorism Unit and created the most successful anti-radicalisation programme to date carrying out workshops in schools in at risk areas reaching over 80,000 students across 120 schools. The programme was covered by the worlds leading media receiving coverage in Newsweek, New York Times, CBS News, The One Show, The Times, Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed with Washington Post labelling Humza as “Britain’s greatest hope against Isis for the hearts and minds of Young Muslims”. Humza’s efforts caught the attention of YouTube who made Humza their first ambassador for the Creators For Change campaign, an initiative dedicated to amplifying the voices of role models who tackle difficult social issues, helping to combat hate speech, counter xenophobia and extremism and make the case for greater tolerance and empathy toward others. With today’s current political and cultural climate, these issues have never been more relevant with Humza now standing as one of the most in demand public speakers having spoken and shared the stage with the likes of Will Smith, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcikci, Kevin Hart and Whoopi Goldberg.

Twitter @humzaproduction 75k followers

Instagram @humzaproduction 175k followers

YouTube.com/HumzaProductions – 380k subscribers

  • Omar Mohidin

If dictionaries came with pictures, you would find an image of Omar Mohidin next to the word ‘fearless’. Known under the alias Psychomar on social media, Iraqi-Kurd Omar grabbed global attention in 2014 when he was caught smoking a shisha pipe in the middle of Knightsbridge’s busiest street with notoriety soon following. Known to tread where many would shy away, Omar portrays the Arab experience in his trademark satirical style which has resonated with the Arab and Middle Eastern community worldwide. With his videos regularly receiving hundreds of thousands of views on his Instagram page, Omar caught the attention of ITV2 who gave him the role of a hapless-down-on-luck jilted boyfriend in their comedy entertainment show ’All About The Bants’. Omar finds himself in a unique position of being the most followed British Arab on social media and is often interviewed for his perspective in this politically and socially sensitive time with regular appearances on news platforms including BBC London and The Mirror.

Instagram @psychomartv – 146k followers