Born in Jamaica, I came to the UK at the age of 4 and went to school in Derby. I guess, looking back, that I was one of those under-achievers in school. Not because I was thick, but I because was unfortunate enough to be in a class of disruptive under-achievers. They thought being a swot wasn't cool. The main theme of each lesson was to reduce the teacher to tears or get somebody thrown out of class. I actually tried to overcome this by studying on my own at home. But this was equally frustrating, because my dad taught by bullying and nothing I did was ever, ever good enough for him. I even found the teachers distant and unapproachable, probably because they resented my terrible class and all the kids in it.
I still wasn't giving up though. I used to save my dinner money and buy a reading book each week. Soon I found that I had a thirst for knowledge that needed to be quenched. I joined the city library and spent hours in second hand book stores. I would arrive home with both arms filled with books. Reading is such a fantastic way to broaden the mind. I discovered the universe through reading. One day, my old man and I had a major falling out which ended up with him burning all my books. I wanted to be transferred to a more academic class so much, but my hard work was ignored. Eventually I left school with 4 CSEs, which might not sound like a lot, but it was actually more than some of the kids in the non-disruptive classes managed! CSE history was one that I most treasure.
I am sure there are thousands of people who can identify with me, because they know what they can/could achieve academically but, for unfair circumstances, they are seen as non-achievers. Where I did excel in school was in physical sport. But even in this I was put down; in an end of term report the PE teacher put me at the bottom of the class - simply because I didn't share his love of football, rugby and badminton. I went on to become the Midlands schoolboy judo champion. And, a few years later, the all British Martial Arts Champion in Kung Fu!
I bugged out after a year in the sixth form (I only went because my dad forced me to), to work in a sports shop. Then I had a spell in a large motor factors company, where I was quickly promoted to assistant manager. I eventually gave that up to concentrate on my first love, Martial Arts. I became a full-time martial arts instructor/coach. And after winning numerous medals and martial arts trophies what I wanted most of all was to become a movie stuntman. Eventually I thought of a way to fulfil this burning ambition: become an actor. So I enrolled in the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama (MADD), and did a three year diploma course. It was during this time that I discovered I could get paid for being funny. So I did an about face and became a stand-up comedian.
I have done numerous stage shows, including writing and directing my own musical, TV bit parts and a few appearances in various TV stand-up shows. I even got a role in a film, back in the day, called The Token King (which will no doubt rear its ugly head if I become famous). I also got involved with a pilot show called The Naked Chef (long before Jamie Oliver's programme of the same name - my show actually had real nudes!) I have recently had the extreme pleasure to take part in two new TV shows on BBC3 - Malai Presents and the Malai Stand-Up Show, and on SKY TV's UK's Sexiest Jobs.
I love reading science and history books. I don't really have one favourite topic, but have years when I will study, say, physics or the psychology of consciousness, or even the origins of man. History and World War Two is my current passion. I also still keep my hand in on the martial arts side and I roller-blade, ice-skate, run and like to sink a few hoops on the basketball court. And travel plays a huge part in my life.