Joining Jason Manford at the Royal Variety Performance 2020 is Malawian comedian and “antisocial commentator” Daliso Chaponda.

Who is Royal Variety’s Daliso Chaponda?

Born 1979 in Malawi, Daliso Chaponda grew up between Malawi, Thailand, Australia and Switzerland. Before pursuing comedy, he studied computer programming and English literature at two universities in Canada.

Then, in 2001, Chaponda began his comedy career. The following year, he had a headlining show, Feed This Black Man. 

Chaponda moved to the UK in 2006, where he gained popularity opening for big name comedians such as John Bishop. During this period, he also performed in South Africa and Australia.

Daliso ‘Laughrica’ incident

In 2012, Chaponda made a joke about the Malawian flag during his “Laughrica” tour. As a result, the Malawian government threatened him with arrest for insulting the flag. 

In a 2013 interview with David Aspinall from Mancunian Matters, Chaponda talked about the incident. He described it as “something that had to be dealt with”. 


He also appreciated his fortune in having people around him who “knew how to deal with the stuff diplomatically” (Aspinall’s words).

Discussing the events, Chaponda said: “You’re never really afraid of something bad happening, you’re only ever afraid when some underling gets caught up in the moment and goes on a power trip”.

Chaponda’s other works

Besides reaching the final stages of ITV’s reality TV show Britain’s Got Talent in 2017, Chaponda has appeared on several BBC television and radio shows.

Notably, his appearances include QI, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, Good Evening Britain, The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4) and The Now Show.

He also the writer, creator and host of Rose d’Or nominee Citizen of Nowhere.

In addition to a burgeoning comedy career, Chaponda is a self-described “prolific fiction writer”. He has written science fiction, murder mystery and fantasy fiction, and is currently working on a novel.

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