Wed 01 Jan, 2024

Comedian Nabil Abdulrashid talks prison and global success with NPR Talk

January can be a tough month for many, and an even tougher month for those in prison. With this in mind, NPR have lined up inspiring stories from people who have found success after time behind bars to encourage listeners to keep their spirits up and to help keep their new year’s resolutions burning bright.  

Nabil Abdulrashid, an award-winning comedian and writer who told NPR his story of how he survived a prison sentence and how he achieved global success on the comedy circuit.  

His last show was called N.A.B.I.L (Nobody Actually Believed I’d Last). He shares stories about his experiences of the school system in Nigeria, his return to England and how he spent a short time in prison.  

The show was declared: “Moving and captivating as well as split-your sides funny” (Evening Standard) and he was praised for his “genuine humanity…” and described as “an easy comic to like” (Chortle).  

Nabil has also appeared on the BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News for You and Celebrity MasterChef.  

Prisoners will also be hearing from former National Prison Radio presenter turned successful stage and screen actor, Michael Balogun. Michael’s dream began in a prison cell during one of a number of stints in prison during his younger years. 

Michael worked as a presenter for National Prison Radio and he also worked in the Clink restaurant. He initially thought he wanted to be a chef and the Clink set him up with a job in the restaurant at RADA: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  

But this wasn’t to be. The head chef told him after less than a day that he was too slow and he was moved across to work in the bar. It was here that he discovered he could act.  

Michael describes being in a really low place during his time in HMP Elmley. It was at this moment that he realised he had a dream and made the decision to put all his energy into becoming an actor.  

Ten years on, Michael has found success on TV and on-stage.

He has appeared in Top Boy, Vera and War of the Worlds, as well as a number of high-profile West End plays.  

Looking back on his time in prison, he tells National Prison Radio: “Tough times build character and make us who we are.”  

NPR Talk broadcasts every Wednesday at 12:00 and 18:00 on National Prison Radio.