WHEN Omid Djalili found himself struggling with getting older, he dived his way into the semi-final of a television show.

Now the award-winning British-Iranian actor and comedian, who appeared in last year's series of ITV's Splash!, will take to the stage in Bolton with his new show — Iranalamadingdong.

Topics on the father-of-three's agenda, for his stand-up show at the Albert Halls, on Thursday, November 13, include growing older and relationships.

The 49-year-old said: "Growing older, we all struggle with it.

"As Dave Allen once said, ‘I enjoy getting older. I have to because there’s no choice’.

"When you hit your forties you understand life better, but at the same time your body is more prone to fail.

"So you have to find a way of joining your received wisdom with physical prowess.

"A lot of men who hit 40 try to do things that make them feel more alive because they want to prove themselves.

"That’s why I did Splash! I wanted to do something out of the box, stretch my courage and prove I was still a young man at heart even though my bits were dropping off. "

Omid is coming to Bolton with his new show, following a sell-out four week West End residency and a sold-out season at the Edinburgh Festival.

Omid, whose first success was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1995, said: "I’ve done lots of different things and enjoyed them but stand-up, when it goes well — it often doesn’t — is definitely a love.

"There’s something deeply satisfying about a good gig.

"I’m not often happy with myself as an actor. I get upset when I see myself acting on screen, mostly because of the way I look.

"But as a stand-up it’s always a bonus if you look heavy or awkward or damaged, in my case it helps in fact."

Omid has appeared in a number of films, including Gladiator, The Mummy, Mean Machine, The World Is Not Enough, Notting Hill, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Sex and the City 2 and TV series, including Moonfleet, as well as a raft of comedy shows.

He said: "When I was working on Moonfleet last summer Ray Winstone told me, ‘I don’t feel I come alive on set until I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook’.

"Similarly, I don’t really feel I’ve come to life unless I’ve triggered laughter from a crowd.

"It’s probably an illness — a comedian’s illness.

"But I don’t panic like I used to. If a joke misses or backfires I know there’s a hundred more on their way.

"But it’s strange, I’m getting more serious off stage and savour even more the times when I’m on it.

"There’s always something in my mind telling me ‘enjoy it while you can, this isn’t going to last much longer.'"

Another topic Omid will address in the show is the subject of celebrity.

He said: "I talk about the fact that when you become a celebrity — or in fact in any line of work where you feel you are important somehow in a worldly sense because people around you are telling you so — there is a period when you become an idiot.

"It happens to everyone. You start believing your own hype and behave foolishly. A more eloquent way would be to describe it as becoming “a plaything of the ignorant”. Not many talk people about this “idiot”—phase but I’m happy to. I became an idiot. I’ll go there. And it’s bad."

So how did Omid snap out of his idiot-phase?

He said: I’m not sure I have. It’s up for debate."

Tickets for Omid Djalili, at the Albert Halls, Bolton, cost £23. Call 01204 334400.