Adil Ray: ‘I’m asked to do Mr Khan’s ridiculous throat-clearing in the street!’

Although Adil Ray is unrecognisable as himself when playing Citizen Khan's lead character Mr Khan, he’s often spotted by fans of the show when out and about.


The creator, writer and star of sitcom Citizen Khan is also an established radio and TV presenter. Yet despite his varied career Adil revealed to What’s on TV he still finds it strange to be recognised as Mr Khan…

“The worst thing is if I’m walking down somewhere like Oxford Street and someone recognises me and asks me to do Mr Khan’s ridiculous throat-clearing thing in the middle of the street. It’s really weird!”

Adil added: “It’s quite nice not being recognised. Recently I was in a restaurant and could eavesdrop on another table’s conversation about Citizen Khan. Fortunately they were fans of the show. If it had been the other way round I might have been depressed!”

The first series of the family sitcom averaged three million viewers, with the second series holding that figure at 3.3 million. Citizen Khan has also been sold by BBC Worldwide to Australia, New Zealand and India, which is something Adil admits he was initially a little worried about.

“We’ve sold to Australia, New Zealand and India. I was worried about [selling to] India as Mr Khan does a lot of anti-Indian jokes, but they absolutely loved it. There’s been a real wave of comedy in India. They’re starting to have comedy clubs and stand-up gigs.”

Adil added: “The audience has gone with it. We’ve had some good feedback.”

Series three screens on BBC One this Friday at 8.30pm.

More from Adil and Citizen Khan here.


Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.