Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle

Date of birth: 07-08-1952

Born in Anfield, Liverpool to Communist-Jewish parents, Sayle replied to an advert for would-be comedians when the London Comedy Store opened in 1979. He became the alternative venue's first compere, and largely set the tone for an emerging scene that mixed stand-up, character and oddball cabaret.

He subsequently joined the breakaway Comic Strip club, handing over the Comedy Store MC job to Ben Elton, and featured in several of the Channel 4 films that featured their core performers. His most notable role was playing the two leading roles in Didn't You Kill My Brother?

On stage, he performed as an angry, politically-aware Marxist stage persona in an ill-fiitting suit -a persona he revived in The Young Ones,portraying several members of an Eastern European family, the Balowskis, who owned the squalid student house where the anarchic sitcom was set.

He made three series of Alexei Sayle's Stuff, running from 1988 to 199 and winning an international Emmy alon gthe way, two series of The All New Alexei Sayle Show (1994–95) and one series of Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round (1998)

He has also made film appearances in Gorky Park, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the 1992 Carry On film, Carry On Columbus and had a 1984 Top 20 hit with Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?

However he eased back on performing to become an author, and has two short story anthologies and five novels to his name. But after 16 years away from stand-up, Sayle returned to compere gigs in 2011.

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Alexei Sayle to narrate a critical history of The Sun

'Only a Liverpudlian could read this audiobook'

Alexei Sayle is to narrate the audiobook version of a new book offering an official history of The Sun newspaper.

Written by political commentator James Felton, Sunburn, attempts to answer the question: 'Does media reflect or manipulate who we are?', according to publishers Little, Brown

Editorial director Emily Barrett said 'only a Liverpudlian could read this audiobook'. The city has almost universally boycotted the newspaper since its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster blamed Liverpool fans. 

Felton’s first book, the historical 52 Times Britain Was A  Bellend, was published in October last year and sold more than 30,000 copies in hardback. 

The author told The Bookseller: 'As a massive lefty political comedian who took the comedy scene by storm right when the Sun was at its worst, Alexei Sayle is the perfect choice to read Sunburn. 

'He has also been a comedy hero of mine since I was a small child. I always dreamed I’d one day enrage him by forcing him into a small booth to read my frankly unreasonably long sentences. It is with great excitement that I wholeheartedly apologise to Alexei.'

Order the book, which is out on October 8, here.

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Published: 22 Sep 2020

Memoirs for Sayle

Alexei Sayle is to write his first volume of memoirs.The…

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