Fans are used to see Nabil Raja Lawak as the host of progammes such as meleTop and Gehar Vaganza, but his latest hosting job will be Astro’s Islamic reality show — Ceria I-Star. Pix by ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ.

HE has always been known as the “funny guy”.

In fact, Ahmad Nabil Ahmad is more popularly known as Nabil Raja Lawak, ever since he was crowned winner of Raja Lawak Season 2 in 2008, a TV reality show that searches for comedic talent, aired on Astro.

His career skyrocketed and the funny lad has been actively acting and hosting. While most of the TV programmes he has hosted have been entertainment talk shows, Nabil has been given a new responsibility, to host Islamic reality show Ceria I-Star, which will be aired on Astro Ceria and Maya HD beginning tomorrow at 9pm.

Nabil admits to feeling a little nervous about this as the content is entirely different from his previous shows but adds that having a co-host helps ease the jitters somewhat.

“I’m thankful to be co-hosting with Ustaz Yeop. I have learnt a lot from him. I am no expert in religion, so I am blessed with the opportunity to ask him questions,” he says.

Ustaz Yeop (real name Mohd Zainudin Mohamed Zaini) was discovered on reality show Pencetus Ummah on Astro Awani in 2014.

Noted religious and motivational speakers will be involved in Ceria I-Star, such as Ustaz Zul Ramli Mohamad Razali who will serve as the advisor, while Imam Muda Asyraf and Amin Idris will be the two judges who will be evaluating the contestants’ performance in every episode.

“Standing alongside these well-known religious motivational speakers is also nerve-wracking. I have so much respect for these individuals,” says Nabil.

“Fans are used to seeing me host programmes like meleTOP and Gegar Vaganza, so this is something new. I am happy to take on this challenge. You have to take on challenges and show that you are capable of being versatile,” says Nabil who performed the haj in September last year.

YOUNG ISLAMIC ICON

Ceria I-Star is an Islamic children’s programme that focuses on young individuals in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei in the hope of finding talents who can be seen as an Islamic icon in the future.

The show is a platform for younger contestants to showcase their talent for preaching Islamic content to the viewers at home, using their creativity.

Some perform through singing, while others by telling stories.

Nabil, 33, says: “The programme serves as a launching pad for these young contestants to perhaps develop a career in the Islamic field. We want to garner interest among the young viewers at home to learn more about Islam.”

The show will see contestants vying for the first Ceria I-star winner.

Nabil says that while the TV programme is based on an Islamic concept, Nabil’s role is to inject a little humour into the show and make it less serious for the young audience at home.

“That means I also get to be myself. It’s not just serious business,” he says.

When asked if he will take on more roles hosting Islamic shows for the adult viewers, he smiles and says: “Probably, not yet. I would love to be hosting more Islamic programmes in the future but I must first equip myself with knowledge about the religion. I feel I don’t have sufficient knowledge, which is why I agreed to start with this children’s programme. This is sort of my launching pad to more programmes of this kind.”

Nabil looks up to host Aznil Nawawi. “He’s brilliant. The way he talks and interacts with people is very convincing. He is able to draw your attention and not leave you feeling bored. That is one trait I admire. I would like to be like him some day,” says the father-of-two.

“I’ve only been in the industry for eight years. I’m definitely not done with exploring new things.”

• QUICK FACTS

NAME: Ahmad Nabil Ahmad

DATE OF BIRTH: Sept 26 1983 (age 33)

OCCUPATION: Comedian, actor, TV Host

ZODIAC SIGN: Libra

• TRIVIA

Nabil rose to fame after winning the second season of Raja Lawak in 2008.

Since then, he has been actively hosting and acting in films like Pisau Cukur (2009), Berani Punya Budak (2012) as well as dramas like Geng Bas Sekolah (2013) and Bila Kau Datang (2015).

He will be co-hosting Astro’s latest Islamic reality show Ceria I-star alongside Ustaz Yeop.

Nabil is married to Zira Ayoub in 2011 and the couple have two children Nayra Mikaila, 3, and Layla Damita, 1.

• Ceria I-star premiers tomorrow on Astro Ceria (Channel 611) and Maya HD (Channel 135) at 9pm.