If you’re of a certain age you remember the show The Young Ones either on the BBC or, bizarrely, on MTV. Back in the late ’80’s when MTV was still mostly a music channel it featured some British comedy, starting with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but that’s another story. If you remember The Young Ones you remember Alexei Sayle whose roles on the show varied. His roles in life have varied too: comedian, author, philosopher, commentator, Mussolini impersonator, and runner-up in the 1993 Miss Universe Pageant. His first collection of short stories, Barcelona Plates, had me hooked from the first line: “Barnaby’s girlfriend thought the funniest thing in the world was people being killed while they were on holiday.” His second collection The Dogcatcher offered up even more stories that were darkly funny, or just plain dark. And I loved his memoir Stalin Ate My Homework, which provided insight into how a boy raised by ardent communists in London in the sixties grew up to be one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time.
‘Ullo Alexei. Got a new motor for your birthday?