Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi inspired by Thandiwe Newton to reclaim her birth name

·Contributor
·3-min read
Shaparak Khorsandi told Ranvir Singh she is reclaiming her real name. (ITV)
Shaparak Khorsandi told Ranvir Singh she is reclaiming her real name. (ITV)

Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi has reclaimed her Persian birth name.

The 48-year-old stand-up comic and novelist - who took part in I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2017 - was born in Iran under the name Shaparak but has previously been known professionally as Shappi Khorsandi.

Khorsandi appeared on ITV's Lorraine via video link and as the camera cut to her she was seen holding her phone up to the screen.

Read more: Thandiwe Newton reveals real name after 30-plus years in Hollywood

She told Ranvir Singh: "You caught me trying to take a screenshot because I was so happy that for the first time in my 25 year career my name says 'Shaparak Khorsandi', not Shappi.

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"I'm really happy for people to call me Shappi still, but I changed my name to Shappi because people found pronouncing Shaparak so hard. And also I was teased SO much at school about my name.

"But I was really inspired when Thandiwe Newton reclaimed her 'w' and people like [England footballer] Bukayo Saka - they don't shorten their name, he's not Bob Saka. So I thought I want to reclaim my original name and that's the first time I saw it. So thank you."

In April Westworld and Line Of Duty star Thandiwe Newton revealed she was reverting to the original Zimbabwean spelling of her first name, after previously being known professionally as Thandie.

Thandie Newton attends the premiere for
Actor Thandiwe Newton reverted to the original Zimbabwean spelling of her name earlier this year. (AP)

She told British Vogue: "That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine,"

The comedian and Nina Is Not OK novelist is embarking on a new stand-up live tour called It Was The 90s, now that COVID restrictions have been ended.

Khorsandi – who was born in Iran before her family sought asylum in Britain when she was a child – has appeared on TV shows including Have I Got News For You, QI, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Loose Women.

Shappi Khorsandi took part in 'I'm A Celebrity' in 2017. (Getty Images)
Shaparak Khorsandi began her stand-up career under the name Shappi. (Getty Images)

Last year she admitted her experience on ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity had not been happy as it reminded her of being teased at school.

Read more: Shaparak Khorsandi: My time on 'I'm A Celebrity' was a bit sad

She said: It was just all a bit sad, it felt like school again where, you know, I’m not one of the sporty ones. I’m not one of the pretty girls...

"I knew when I got in there that the only reason I can stay in the show is if I create some kind of drama. I had a mantra – I refuse to argue with anyone. Not even Rebekah Vardy when she was really mean to me.”

Watch: Thandiwe Newton on reverting to the original Zimbabwean spelling of her name

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