As a comedian Anil began his career starring in the Award winning BBC sketch show series Goodness Gracious Me. As a fan of pop-culture, he followed this by creating his own comedy sketch group The Giant Pineapple Boys, performing in London and Edinburgh Festivals (2001 - 2004), co-hosted on the ever popular live late show Spank! (Edfest 2004 - 2007), created his original comedy characters Rajesh - Bollywood Lounge singer & Candice the Fluffer Girl continually performing on the cabaret, variety & burlesque circuit since 2006, and has had over 25,000 hits on Comedybox online with his awe-inspiring act of performing 52 impressions in just 5 minutes!
Since 2008, he has become known as 'the Stand-Up Chameleon' and had a smashing 2009 Edinburgh festival run with his show of the same title, earning him a commission by BBC Comedy Extra for a 4 sketch mini series entitled How To Impersonate. Since then he has been headlining comedy shows in London, and bigger shows around the UK. In March 2010 he was the audience choice winner of the Waterman's Asian Comedy Slam!
In the Spring of 2010, Anil thrilled audiences around the globe on his first international shows, breaking culture boundaries with his Stand up chameleon solo show and gigging his much loved comedy and impressions. He is one of the few acts that has crossed over into performing on the Comedy, Cabaret, Variety, Burlesque and Magic circuits all over the UK, he has also performed in Slovenia, Germany, Singapore and Australia, most notably at the Sydney Comedy Festival, where he opened for Tony Woods and Dom Errera at the Sydney Comedy Store. He was also invited to perform at some of the biggest summer festivals in the UK including Latitude, Electric Picnic and Bestival for the second year running.
His second solo show, Anil Desai: "Hey, Impressions Guy!" gained him more industry engagements, found new audiences and earned him more favourable reviews at the Gilded Balloon - Edinburgh Comedy Festival 2010. This lead on to a recent two week tour in India, before returning back to the Comedy Store in Sydney, Australia for the Best of International Comedy showcase, and being invited to appear on Australian TV's biggest Variety show for 30 years – 'Hey Hey It's Saturday!' (Channel 9) – seen by millions of viewers nationwide. He was also selected to be one of only 25 international comedians at the Bulmer's Comedy Festival 2010 in Tipperary, Ireland.
Backing up his comedy career Anil has worked as a professional actor since 1995, and has worked in the films –Phoenix (BBC Crucial Films), Re-Ignited (Ideal World Films/C4), Decreed (HTV), The Drive (Anglia TV), Dead Eyes (Wysiwyg Films). He also worked in various TV series including the Award winning 'Goodness Gracious Me' 'Mr.Charity' & 'Doctors' (BBC), 'The Bill', 'Barbara' & 'Headcases' (ITV).
British Theatre productions include 'The Adventures of Tintin' (The Playhouse Theatre/UK Tour), 'The Fortune Club' (Tricycle Theatre), 'As You Like It' (Watford Palace) and many more at theatres including, The Birmingham Rep, Leicester Haymarket, Soho Theatre, The Young Vic, The Cockpit, The Meinier Chocolate Factory and The Hen & Chickens. He has starred in various Radio Plays for BBC Radio.