At the age of 11 Akmal Saleh's parents gathered up their children and left Egypt headed for Australian shores. Growing up in a typical Sydney suburb, Akmal began to recognise the differences between his Arab heritage and the Australian way of life, which would later shape him as a comedian. Akmal began his comedy career going by the name Peter so he could get booked in RSL clubs, and it wasn't before long that Akmal displayed his uncanny gift to walk on stage and instantly have the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. After only a few years, Akmal became one of the most sought-after acts touring with international comedians such as Steven Wright, Ben Elton and The Amazing Johnathan. This book charts Akmal's early life in Egypt with his eccentric family to his first gigs at Bikie conventions (coming on stage before the strippers), his marriage, his ever-increasing success both on stage and TV, towards becoming one of the best known and loved comedians in Australia.
Akmal started in stand-up comedy in 1990. For a time, he performed under the alias Peter Saleh- "So that people would think I was white," he says, "'Peter' seemed like a common name." In 1992 he co-wrote and starred in the show All Aussies are Boofta which enjoyed successful runs in various Sydney venues. This was followed by the live shows Bound And Gagged and Hoot, the latter of which toured the 1996 Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Festival. Akmal started broadcasting on Australian radio in January 2007, filling in for Merrick and Rosso on Nova on Nova for three weeks during the summer before receiving his own drive-time show. He finished at Nova last year to concentrate on a new stand up routine and writing his book. He has also appeared on numerous Australian television shows, such as Hey Hey, Rove, Thank God You're Here, Spicks and Specks and is a regular on Good News Week on Network Ten.