Alexei Sayle to star in boxing film | With Ricky Tomlinson and Denise Van Outen

Alexei Sayle to star in boxing film

With Ricky Tomlinson and Denise Van Outen

Alexei Sayle is to star in a bare-knuckle boxing film.

The comic plays a homeless former millionaire in Gloves Off, which also stars Ricky Tomlinson and Denise Van Outen.

Described as 'Rocky meets National Lampoon', the comedy-drama is led by co-writer and former stand-up Brad Moore, who plays Doug, an ex-boxer down on his luck and struggling to save his debt-ridden gym, a sanctuary for lost souls in the local community.

Salvation is offered by a beautiful Romani gypsy woman (Van Outen), who convinces Doug to train her brother in a bare-knuckle prize fight.

Sayle plays Algy, Doug's confidant, a privately educated, once successful accountant who became an alcoholic and tramp. He sleeps at the gym but retains a cheerful disposition.

Algy's situation actually recalls Tomlinson's real life, when he was homeless and lived in a boxing club while hiding from gangsters. In the film, though, Tomlinson's character Mick uses the gym as an escape from his wife.

Only Fools and Horses regular Paul Barber plays a former navy boxing champion-turned-trainer, while Cradle To Grave star Laurie Kynaston is Donny, the son of Van Outen's Vera and an aspirant boxer.

Stand-up Tom Craine also makes his film debut as a posh but not terribly bright pay day loan collector attempting to close the gym down.

Gloves Off is directed and co-written by Steve Nesbit and produced for Moli Films by Gareth Maxwell Roberts, Lucy Selwood and Laurence King.

The film was shot in and around Leeds last autumn and is currently in post-production for release this year.

Sayle is currently touring in support of his latest memoir, Thatcher Stole My Trousers, and will be returning to Radio 4 with the monologues series, Alexei Sayle's Imaginary Sandwich Bar.

- by Jay Richardson

Review of Thatcher Stole My Trousers.

Published: 14 Mar 2016

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