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 become one of the most sort after acts touring with international comedians such as Steven Wright, Ben Elton and The Amazing Johnathan.
In 1992 Akmal Teamed up with fellow comedians Anthony Mir and Gary Eck to co-write and star in “All Aussies are Boofta” – a sketch comedy show which enjoyed successful runs and rave reviews at The Harold Park Hotel, Parramatta Riverside Theatre and the Harbourside Brasserie Sydney. Their next show “Bound And Gagged” once again received rave reviews. Their third award winning show “Hoot” enjoyed a successful run at the 1996 Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festivals and was subsequently invited to appear at the Gided Balloon in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Upon returning to Australia the comedy trio created their own TV series “The 50 Foot Show” which aired on the comedy channel in Australia and New Zealand. In 2002 Akmal co-wrote and starred in the Miramax feature film “You Can’t Stop The Murders”.
Akmal continually displays an incredible ability to deal with hot topics in a non-offensive way as he touches on issues such as religion, terrorism and hysterical looks at modern day life in Australia. This has resulted in regular appearances on TV shows such as “Rove Live”, “The Footy Show”, “The Glass House”, and on “Triple M”, “2’Day FM” and “Triple J” radio.
In 2004 Akmal premiered his stand up show “Gullible” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he sold out each performance. Next stop was the New Zealand Comedy Festival. Akmal continued to tour across Australia headlining the “Comedy Festival Road Show”. He was then invited to take his show to the Vancouver Comedy Festival in Canada. Later that year Akmal performed a hugely successful season of “Gullible” at the Sydney Opera House where he once again received rave reviews.
Akmal returned in 2005 with “Akmal Live” premiering at the Sydney “Cracker Comedy Festival” and returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where, due to popular demand, he added two show’s a night on weekends selling out every show of the festival. Akmal was also a highlight on the “Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala” and the “Great Debate” both airing on Channel 10.
Throughout 2006 Akmal went from strength to strength beginning the year with the Adelaide Fringe Festival and selling out all his shows making him one of the hottest tickets of the festival. Next Akmal returned to the Sydney Cracker Comedy Festival, then the Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he sold out all of his 27 shows. Akmal’s popularity continued to grow throughout the year with continual TV exposure, including numerous appearances on the hugely successful “Thank God You’re Here”. After a full year of performing in theatres across Australia Akmal returned to his home town of Sydney for a sold out show at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre.
There doesn’t seem to be any slowing down for Akmal in 2007, beginning the year with his own syndicated radio show on Nova Sydney and Melbourne which can be heard every weekday between 4-6 pm. Akmal will also continue his live performances kicking of the year with his run at the Sydney Opera House, and his return to both the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Melbourne International Festival.