'The town will explode if Ipswich get promoted'

Actor Omid Djalili
Actor and comedian Omid Djalili is confident Ipswich Town will get promoted to the Premier League [Getty Images]

Actor and comedian Omid Djalili says he thinks his new hometown will "explode" if its football team wins promotion to the Premier League this weekend.

Ipswich Town are currently second in the Championship following a 2-1 win against Coventry City on Tuesday night.

With just a point needed in the final match of the season against Huddersfield this Saturday, fans are brimming with excitement at the prospect of a return to the top flight after 22 years.

Djalili, who has lived in Ipswich for about three years, said the Premier League was "where Ipswich Town belongs".

"I think this town is going to explode," the 58-year-old said.

"Ipswich has always been a Premier League team - this is where they belong.

"This shouldn't have been the way for the last 22 years.

"Now we've got Kieran McKenna, who is getting them to play in the Premier League way, which is about zipping the ball in."

Djalili, an award-winning comic who has also starred in films including The Mummy, Notting Hill and Gladiator, supports Chelsea but occasionally attends Town games,

He said when he first watched the team in League One, the players "weren't playing in a way that was worthy of the club's legacy", but that had changed.

"I believe the days when they were in the Premier League getting hammered 9-0 by Manchester United are over," he said.

"I think they are going to go up and they are going to do well."

'We've got to step up'

He said Leeds United, who currently sit in third place, would need a "miracle" to go up at Town's expense.

Promotion would be a great thing for the town of Ipswich, he added.

"I think businesses have got to be prepared," he said.

"People are going to travel here and be in the town centre so we've got to step up.

"We've got to show them what we are all about.

"It's only going to help the town and raise the level of existence, which is what we all want."

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