BirminghamWorld caught up with the cast of the Birmingham-set and Bafta-nominated series Man Like Mobeen at an exclusive red-carpet screening yesterday (Tuesday, May 23) at The Bond in Digbeth. The fourth series of the hit BBC comedy Man Like Mobeen will hit our TV screens early next month.
If you haven’t seen any of series one to three, then you may be interested to know that the comedy - written by Guz Khan and co-creator Andy Milligan - is about a reformed drug-dealer called Mobeen from Small Heath who is trying to turn his life around to live as a good Muslim, looking after his little sister, Aqsa, and trying to escape his troubled past.
Mobeen has almost made good on living a quiet-ish life, but in the cliff-hanger series three finale, he found himself banged-up behind bars with his best pal, Nate, after their close friend Eight had been killed. The new series picks up with Mobeen ann Nate as they adjust to life in prison.
Familiar faces return to the show - but in very unexpected situations. Barbara Nice has even made it all the way from Kings Heath and the iconic Uncle Shady is on hand with some important insight. All this means Mobeen and Nate must once again negotiate new challenges and circumstances.
Wise words from Guz Khan about that shocking cliff hanger in Series three
When we asked about the death of Tez Ilyas’ character Eight, Guz explained: “He’s a fantastic character. Nobody else could have played that character. From a story point of view, it was meant to be. His death made people cry. If we had killed Mobeen, it wouldn’t have been as upsetting.”
Guz added wisely: “Eight is a representation of all of those who are innocent and have lost their lives in terrible circumstances.” Duaa and Tolu nodded in agreement with the latter adding: “That’s deep.” However, Guz, forever the funny man, said: “I made that up just now.”
What was the premiere like and who is the funniest character in Man Like Mobeen?
Set by the canal, The Bond is a massive space where Late Night Lycett was broadcasted from live. BirminghamWorld editor Fionnuala Bourke and I reached early to get our place by the red carpet - which was actually green.
Hundreds of fans attended - some having travelled all the way from Leicester. There were some famous faces in the crowd, including Coventry-based marathon runner Haroon Mota.
When the cast came in, their camaraderie was obvious - which is one of the reasons Man Like Mobeen is such a great watch. When we asked Guz Khan, Duaa Karim and Tolu Ogunmefen about who among them was the funniest - the trio unanimously pointed towards Mark Silcox aka Uncle Shady.
And, Perry Fitzpatrick aka Officer Harper, Salman Akhtar aka Officer Sajid and co-creator Andy Milligan seemed to agree. However, Akhtar added that Guz was hilarious on the set. “When you are doing a scene with Guz, it’s hard work because you can’t keep a straight face,” said Akhtar.
When co-creator Andy Milligan was asked if there will be a series five, he said: “Well, we have to see. We don’t know. See what happens in the end - how it goes down.”
Man Like Mobeen preview
We were able to watch the first two episodes of series four and, without giving away any spoilers, it’s going to be a treat for the audience.
While the first three series were set in Small Heath in Birmingham - the majority of series four will be with Mobeen and Nate in prison with familiar faces also cropping up.
From Officer Sajid to Aqsa and, of course, Uncle Shady - everyone’s going to make an appearance. There are some new faces in the show as well and the audience will be suprised to see what roles they fit into.
Just like previous seasons, there’s plenty of colourful language - in English and Hindi/Urdu - while the two friends try to navigate the life of being in jail. However, they have a big mission while inside and we don’t know if Mobeen and Nate will be able to complete it.
The whole series will be released as a boxset on BBC iPlayer on Thursday 8th June, and will also launch that evening on BBC Three at 10pm.