Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli called for comedy to be treated as seriously as drama - and claimed it's harder as people get offended with comedy they don’t like it.

Kohli, 50, said it is harder to be funny than play serious roles on stage and screen and said Scottish comedy was subjected to more criticism than drama.

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The actor has been a household name in Scotland for 20 years thanks to his role as the shopkeeper Navid Harrid in iconic Scottish comedy Still Game.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Sanjeev in character as Navid in Still GamePictured: Sanjeev in character as Navid in Still Game

He called for comedy to stop being treated as dramas ‘poor cousin’.

Speaking on The Cultural Coven podcast, hosted by actress Nicola Roy, Kohli said: “It’s a bugbear of mine.

"People don't understand that comedy is drama plus extra stuff.

"It follows all the same rules, you’ve got do all the same leg-work and, by the way, you’ve got to make people laugh three times a minute.

"This isn't statistical at all, but in my experience, actors that can do comedy can also do drama. It isn’t always the other way round.

"If you look at the way people react to comedy, they get really offended if they don’t like it, especially with Scottish comedy.

"I don’t think they get that way with drama.

"The only way they get that offended with drama is over something locational.

"With comedy they get a lot more offended.

“I think it’s because it’s more subjective and the reason for that is because it’s incredibly sophisticated. It’s almost at the sharp point of our consciousness.

“My personal belief is that comedy is harder than drama and it annoys me that it’s seen as the poor cousin.”

Kohli also told of the anxieties of Still Game’s cast about appearing in a stage production of the show at Glasgow’s Hydro.

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He said: “I got a taste for live performance from doing Still Game at the Hydro, but it was a strange one, because we were almost creating a new genre there.

"I was the only one that hadn’t really done any theatre at all.

"I let everyone else worry about it.

"The plain and simple fact is that until we did that first show, on the day after the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, none of us knew how that venue was going to behave because there was no frame of reference.

"Until we got that first standing ovation, we didn’t know.

"We’d sold that venue out 21 times and if it had died on its arse it would have been a long old month.

"Praise the lord that it actually worked out okay and it behaved like any other venue.”