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Peyvand Khorsandi

Peyvand Khorsandi started comedy with his sister Shappi in the late 1990s.

But the lure of low-paid shift work was too much to him so he decided to keep to chosen trade, backroom journalism. 

As sub-editor he was worked for Daily Mirror, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Metro and magazines such as Radio Times and Bella. Yes, Bella.  

Khorsandi came to Britain aged four in 1976.

His father, Hadi, a newspaper and magazine columnist, had a plum job with the tourist board – but, in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and that was it: no more Iran.

The family then spent every Friday in the basement of a newsagent in Ealing Broadway, west London, with friends. There, on an small "AB Dick" printing press, a satirical weekly called "Taghout" (Landed Gentry) was produced – it lampooned both the class that supported the Shah and the Islamist clerics who replaced him. 

Later, its name changed to "Asghar Agha" (or Mr Smith) and by 1984 it had a circulation of thousands across the world. That year, the Ayatollah sent two assassins to kill Hadi but they were intercepted by Scotland  Yard after a tipoff.

Peyvand graduated from the University of Glamorgan in 1995 with a degree in communication studies and went on to work in a laundrette in West Hampstead for two years. 

He is currently Obituaries editor of The Independent.

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