'One Pound Fish' family prays for Christmas hit -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘One Pound Fish’ family prays for Christmas hit

PATTOKI: The mother of Internet sensation `One Pound Fish Man’ is praying to Allah that her son has a Christmas No 1 hit so his wife and children can join him for a new life in Britain.

When Mohammad Shahid Nazir left his four children behind in Pakistan to study business in London, he could never have imagined he would one day be cavorting in a Warner video with scantily-clad western beauties, singing about fish.

Nazir, who got a job as a fishmonger in east London’s Queens Market in Upton Park, came up with a song to entice customers in which he urged local women to part with one pound ($1.60) for a single, glistening fresh fish.

“Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish,” he croons. “Very, very good one pound fish, very very cheap one pound fish.” Shoppers were charmed and after someone filmed a video and uploaded it on YouTube the song went viral and Warner Music offered Nazir a record deal.

A slicker version with Nazir shimmying and strutting Bollywood-style in a natty suit went up on Dec 10, launching the race to top the Christmas charts in Britain. The original video has had a staggering 4.6 million hits, while the professionally produced one already has more than 2m. Nazir has also gained nearly 28,000 followers on Twitter.

Back at the family home in Pattoki, a small town 234km south of Islamabad, his delighted 67-year-old mother Kalsoom says she is praying and fasting for Nazir’s success. “I appeal to people in Pakistan and abroad to give this song as many hits as possible. I am fasting and saying special prayers for my son so that his song appears as number one,” she said.

Nazir’s family runs their own business in Pattoki where they settled after migrating from India.

Today, they say they have been nicknamed locally as the `One Pound Fish’ family and that people are flocking to download the song onto USBs and CDs. Nazir’s father was initially reluctant to let his middle son go off to England, “but now he is also very happy”, Kalsoom said. If her son gets a work visa, she said, he should take his wife and children with him to Britain.

British newspaper The Sunday Times reported this month that Nazir was under investigation by the Home Office over a potential breach of the terms of his student visa after he ditched his studies to work as a fishmonger. Nazir’s wife Kashifa smiles when asked if she is jealous of her husband dancing with other women in the video.