Blackburn comedian Tez Ilyas has spoken of the “surreal moment” his book featured on the The Sunday Times bestsellers list at the weekend.

His book The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13 ¾, which he published last year, appeared at number seven on the General Paperbacks list.

Tez beat other big names, including Jeremy Clarkson and Ant Middleton, to secure his spot on the oldest and most influential book sales chart in the UK.

The former Witton Park High School pupil thanked his 61,000 Twitter followers for helping to make him a Sunday Times bestseller.



He said: “This is so surreal… we broke into The Sunday Times bestsellers list.

“I’m a Sunday Times bestselling author. What?!

“Thank you to everyone who has bought the book, who has read it, recommended it and left lovely feedback online. You did this!”

One fan said: “A big congratulations. I have bought the book but haven't had a chance to read it. You fully deserve all the success.”

“And higher than Jeremy Clarkson! Great book,” said another.

The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13 ¾ is described as a “rollercoaster of a coming-of-age memoir” where Tez Ilyas looks back on the working class, insular British Asian Muslim community that shaped the man he grew up to be.

Full of rumbling hormones, mischief-making friends, family tragedy, racism Tez didn't yet understand and a growing respect for his religion, his childhood is both a nostalgic celebration of everything that made growing up in the 90s so special, and a reflection on how hardship needn't define the person you become.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Tez said the book is a “nostalgic trip” told through his eyes.

He said: “Growing up in Blackburn, with two communities side-by-side was great. I was influenced culturally by both communities.

“I was at both Witton Park High School with my white mates and going to my mosque and playing in the local area with all of the Asian/Muslim communities.

“My book is basically a massive nostalgic trip all told through my eyes growing up as a teenage kid and I think people will really enjoy… locals who have read it say they really enjoyed it.”