On Tuesday 27 October 2015 the nation’s favourite Pakistani Community Leader and Sparkhill resident, Mr Khan, was seen out and about in Birmingham to celebrate the start of the new series of Citizen Khan on BBC One, Friday 30 October 2015.
Before arriving in the trademark Mercedes, at a red carpet preview of the new series at Cineworld on Broad Street, Mr Khan took over the train announcements at Birmingham New Street station.
During the one hour takeover Mr Khan announced trains all over the UK, with one even making a surprise stop at Karachi, although I think that may have been a Mr Khan joke. He also offered commuters insights on the best shopping deals around the region, with 99p toilet rolls in Nottingham (worth the trip alone) and very nice Halal Butchers in Aston, en route to Walsall.
Mr Khan then proved his claim that ‘Everybody knows him’ when he went on a walkabout in the new Grand Central concourse where he was soon surrounded by fans of his show wanting selfies with the self appointed community leader and of course Mr Khan duly obliged.
It did seem that not quite everybody knew him though, as one mother was overheard explaining to her son that the crowd that had gathered around Mr Khan because “he was off the television and was in that show called The Kumars.”
He also took some time out to record a short video piece for The One Show to support the fundraising Rickshaw Challenge
Then it was off to Broad Street where the Khan family arrived in the pouring rain in the yellow Mercedes to meet and greet fans on the red carpet before a special screening of the first two episodes of the new series. Mr Khan (Adil Ray), Amjad (Abdullah Afzal), Shazia (Krupa Pattani), Naani (Adlyn Ross) and Riaz (Nish Nathwani) all arived in character and mingled with fans who grabbed photographs and videos on their smart phones.
Mr Khan was in demand being interviewed live on air for BBC Midlands Today (or as Mr Khan called it ‘Muslim’ Today), BBC Asian Network Radio and this interview with I Am Birmingham (Twitter).
When asked where Mrs Khan and Alia were he explained that Mrs Khan was busy babysitting their grandson, Mohammed, and that Alia was very busy with her college work and was planning to do her homework at the Mosque until around 4am.
The lucky few that managed to get tickets in the BBC ballot along with some invited guests were then treated to a preview screening of the first two episodes of the new series.
Episode 1: Farley Manor – BBC One Friday 30 October 2015 at 8:30pm
A family day out with the Khans is never going to run smoothly. A chance meeting with Lord Anstruther on a day trip to Farley Manor, filmed at the Elizabethan stately home of Englefield House in Berkshire, may be the stroke of luck Mr Khan needs to get his dream council job but when Naani decides to help herself to some of the historical Indian treasures on display it threatens to ruin Mr Khan’s plans to hobnob with the aristocracy.
Episode 2: Family Photo – BBC One Friday 6 November 2015 at 8:30pm
Mr Khan attempts to take on a fitness regime around the streets of Birmingham, with the help of Amjad, his back problem returns and his plans to secure a school crossing patrol job at a school in Edgbaston are put under threat. Naani has arranged a family photo session in a proper studio, but Alia wants to hijack it for a portrait portfolio for her fashion vlog, which is getting quite a few hits, but for all the wrong reasons.
Both episodes were well received by the preview audience and following the screening, Andy Akinwolere (BBC Inside Out) hosted a question and answer session with the cast, who were now out of character and being themselves.
The new six episode series of Citizen Khan starts at 8:30pm Friday 30 October on BBC One and there will also be an extra Christmas special to look forward to shortly after the fourth series has finished.