Entertainment

Baz and his mum are up for an Emmy

EntertainmentBy Daragh Keany
Baz Ashmawy and his mammy Nancy
Baz Ashmawy and his mammy Nancy

HE is the Irish star who is up for a prestigious Emmy for trying to kill his mammy – but Baz Ashmawy said his mother had never even heard of the prestigious awards until last week.

The brains behind Sky One’s 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy has travelled to New York with his mum Nancy ahead of tomorrow night’s Emmy Awards, where they are nominated for a prestigious gong.

The pair are nominated in the Best Non-Scripted Entertainment category for the utterly-brilliant series where Baz puts his mum through a series of extreme adventures.

But Baz says his mother is unlikely to get star-struck – because she can’t tell one celebrity from the other.

“She won’t have a clue who anyone is at the actual awards. She wants to party with Kanye  – that’s all I know. I actually shouldn’t say this, but she didn’t know what the Emmys were until last week.

“But it will be a lot of fun. It is just such a big deal to be nominated. And if there is a miracle and we win we will head out on the town and party all night. I promise. We will fly the flag for Ireland.

“The Americans didn’t get it at first. They actually thought it was a show about me trying to kill my mum. But they came around to it and now we are here.”

Baz and Nancy will be hoping to follow on from another Irishman, Chris O’Dowd, who had success at the Emmys in 2013 with Moone Boy.

“I am not preparing a speech,” Baz laughs. “There is no way in hell we are going to win. Myself and Nancy are just going for a free trip to New York.

“You should see one of the other shows we are up against. It is called Flying Doctors and it is a Belgian production. I watched a few minutes of it and it one of the most-beautifully shot programmes I’ve ever seen. And the doctors fly around Africa helping sick orphans. How can we compete with that?

“We won an IFTA earlier this year, but mum wasn’t there to walk the red carpet or collect the award. So I want her to enjoy the build-up and soak in the atmosphere.”

Nancy interrupts: “I am wearing a Jacques Vert dress from Arnotts. They were so nice to me in there. I’m not used to that kind of treatment. I’ve never been to New York before so I hope Baz takes me to see the sights too.”

So is there a third series planned?

Nancy laughs: “Well, my passport is in date. That’s all I am saying.”

Baz, who owns one of the production companies – Brown Bread – behind the show, is more diplomatic, stating: “We’d love to make another one, but we have to figure out if we can produce another series worth seeing.”

Baz, who is probably Ireland’s most high-profile Muslim-born celebrity, is currently filming a documentary on Islam. This week, he described the Paris attacks as “disgusting” and said his thoughts were still with the victims of last Friday night.

“I was born a Muslim, so I have had more than a keen interest in the events that have been going on in recent years,” the 40-year-old Egyptian-born presenter revealed.

“Like the rest of the world, I was glued to the telly last week as the horrific events in Paris unfolded. It is disgusting.”

Remarkably, Ashmawy is putting the finishing touches to a one-off documentary on Islam in Ireland, but says the Paris tragedy “does not change the angle” of the show.

“I am focussing on the religion here in Ireland – not the extreme side of it in other parts of the world. 

“There are some incredible Muslims in Ireland. They’re  some of the nicest people you will ever meet and would be completely appalled by the events in Paris.

“Someone remarked this week that I may think about not putting out this documentary, but I think it is more important than ever now. There are a lot of misconceptions about the religion.”

The hostile nature of the entire Middle East at the moment means that Ashmawy’s planned trip to his home city of Cairo has been put on hold.

“I have family and friends there and I will definitely travel there soon. I just can’t at the moment,” he says

“I was in London this week and now I am heading to New York. Life has to go on. We can’t all put our lives on hold because of these tragedies.”


NOMINEES AND WINNERS

BEST NON-SCRIPTED ENTERTAINMENT:

50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy l Barones de la Cerveza l Flying Doctors l Master Chef South Africa

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES l Better Call Saul l Downton Abbey l Game of Thrones (Winner) l Homeland l House of Cards l Mad Men l Orange Is the New Black

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES l Kyle Chandler, Bloodline l Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom l Jon Hamm, Mad Men (Winner) l Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul l Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan l Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES l Claire Danes, Homeland l Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder (Winner) l Taraji P. Henson, Empire l Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black l Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men l Robin Wright, House of Cards

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES l Louie l Modern Family l Parks and Recreation l Silicon Valley l Transparent l Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt l Veep (Winner)