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Baz Ashmawy Goes Grey, Finds Fresh Perspective

On “50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy,” Baz Ashmawy spent much of the series trying to give his mother, Nancy, extra grey hairs by taking her on death-defying adventures. Now a few years removed from the series, it is Ashmawy himself who is sporting more than just a touch of grey.

“People keep saying [that grey hair] suits me and thank God it does, I had no choice. I went grey very young and that’s just the way it goes,” recalled Ashmawy, 42, during an interview with the Irish Sunday Mirror. “It does bother you at the start. I went through periods of dying it and I hated it. I just said to myself I couldn’t do it anymore.”

He continued: “When you start going peppered black and grey, that’s fine, you can deal with that. But, when I started going white, I thought, ‘Wow, I look about 100.’ It’s funny, even though I’m completely silver now, I probably look younger than when I was smoking and drinking.”

In addition to Ashmawy’s hair colour maturing, the man himself has also evolved mightily of late. He’s stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and is focusing on a healthier lifestyle. What’s more, he’s developed a much more positive perspective.

Relayed Ashmawy: “You come up to your 40s and think you’d dread it, but I’m quite enjoying them. I’m in a good place. I think I was worse in my 30s, but I’m very comfortable in myself now.

“I get a lot of people who ask what I do, but I’m not a gym instructor or a personal trainer,” he added. “It was kind of an awakening I had. The benefit I got from it was to stop giving myself excuses not to [get better].”

When speaking directly about his decision to give up the bottle, Ashmawy said he stopped drinking when making a documentary on Islam. By the time the project was over, Ashmawy’s appetite for alcohol was gone: “I don’t need alcohol for confidence or to feel comfortable, so I’m happy enough to go out without it.”

Good on you, Baz!

This week (Monday, August 28 at 8pm ET/5pm PT) on “50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy”: South Africa is this week’s destination for Baz Ashmawy’s boisterous bucket list with his 71-year-old Irish Mammy Nancy. Will she be willing to take the leap and go bungee jumping? Better yet, would she be good with going for a ride on the back of an ostrich?

-Adam Grant