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Saturday
Jul312010

Blog No. 38

In the run-up to the launch of the memoir I don’t have that much to do and I was thinking of getting back into doing a bit of volunteering.  (By the way  this is my advertising tagline for the memoir “If You buy one book this Christmas then please buy mine as well.”) years ago I used to garden once a week at an eco-park near my home, then later at another place in Greenwich.  However the last time I tried it didn’t go so well.  About four or five years ago I began gardening with a group from a homeless charity I had worked with.  These hostel dwellers were being eased back into society by fulfilling contracts for councils and urban parks, mostly filling flower baskets and preparing bulbs for planting on roundabouts and roadsides.   On my first day I put a great deal of thought into what I was going to wear and when I arrived all the homeless men congratulated me on getting my street sleeper look just right, bomber jacket, big boots, baseball cap.   Then a little later on in the day, by accident I was left for a while in a polytunnel that had just been coated with some highly noxious chemicals.  Once the the guy in charge had found me and let me out I imagine that a passersby seeing me reeling about, shouting and falling down in the park  must have thought to themselves: “Poor Alexei Sayle, a few years ago he was on the telly and now  look at him homeless and drunk at 11.30 in the morning.” 

Russell I’m glad you’ve found out the difference between a Mac 10 and an Uzi.  The Mac 10 of course is connected with my greatest triumph.  I’m  sure I’ve written about it before but  in 1993 I was in a Showtime movie called “Deadly Currents”  Starring Bill Patterson and I think the last film of George C Scott.  I recorded it a while ago when it was on in the middle of the night on the TV and I’m actually not that bad in it.   In the end I get to fire a mac 10.  As there was no armourer on the film, one of the producers was doing the guns and when we came to do the scene he didn’t know how to cock the Mac 10 so I had to show him!  Which made me feel really good.

It’s interesting to hear about “Selling HItler” being released in the states.  For it I had to learn to forge Hitler’s signature as in one shot the director wanted me to do it on camera, in a scene when I was forging the diaries.  For a long time it was my party piece to produce Hilter’s signature with a flourish.

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Reader Comments (16)

Hi Alexei,
Short message from China. I'm really looking forward to your memoirs. However, when I tried to explain here that you're a great writer and comerdian, I shouldn't have given quotes from your work, I nearly got arrested. Still, there's a huge market for you here...

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn

It will be interesting to read what the Chinese make of 'Socialism with scouse characteristics'. At least one of Alexei's books is on sale on amazon.cn Weeping Woman Hotel I think. Evelyn, if you make it as far north as Dongning feel free to pop by for a cup of green tea and a chat. It's only two days train ride north east of Beijing. Oh, and then a three hour bus journey.

August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I've always wanted to go to China, if you see any cheap Sammo Hung paraphernalia keep me in mind!

Why not come volunteer at the Amnesty bookshop in Hammersmith where I do a few hours Alexei? All the organic tea and discount you want. And our lovely boss Sarah told me she saw you in the 80s at the Comedy Store and is very fond of you, so she might throw in a few hob nobs. We also chuck Ben Elton books in the recycling...

Somehow a segue between China and Amnesty International just seems wrong...

RE: Selling Hitler. I've got a Dutch copy. Love that show, especially the scene where Jonathan Pryce slaps you with manly affection. When he goes to do it in a later episode I see you visibly pull your head back. Does the big man pack a good punch?!

xx

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Hello Jay,

I'll look out for any Sammo Hung material I can get hold of. I think I know what you are getting at when you say that the segue between China and Amnesty International seems 'wrong'. It;s very hard for me to respond to your comment without seeming conformational or an apologist for those who have ignored and abused the human rights of others. I more or less anticipated that there would be comments about this subject. I would post it, but it is lengthy and only touches the surface of what is a very serious subject which I would not want to be or seem flippant about. There are human rights abuses in every country carried out every day. I don't think China is an exception in this regard

This is a snippet of what I wrote earlier for what it's worth. Britain didn't have a good record with human rights in Hong Kong where the Governor General had the last say on all matters. I seem to remember that Chris Patten was the last of the colonial guards. That is a disturbing thought in itself! Also, people talked about the 'hand over of Hong Kong' when it was clearly the 'handback of Hong Kong'. I'll give the last word to my soon ex-wife to be who hails from China. "all politicians are bastards".

August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Alexi - I have real trouble getting hold of your books here in New Zealand. Of those I have (your earlier works) I've always stumbled onto them second hand. I could order them over the net, but you know as well as I that this would allow 'the man' to get a bead on me. Any chance of getting your publishers to promote a bit more down here?

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterD

Jay I know what you mean...the HUNG aka Mr CHICKLITS!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Hi Leon

Is this the 'Mr. Chicklits' in the photo ( http://www.asianmoviepulse.com/2009/08/17/sammo-hung-beyond-the-dragons-shadow/ ) ? demonstrating a very similar combative stance to Wushu Master Sayle in this photo ( http://www.alexeisayle.me/picture-gallery/ )?

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Hi, yep Ed, that's the man. LOVE HIM. but Mr.Chicklits?!?! Not heard him called that before Leon, & I thought I knew a lot about him! I write reviews of his films for a couple of websites and collect his movies, some are absurdly difficult to get hold of, as well being his ultimate female fan :)

Here's a piece from the 90s that Mr. Sayle did concerning kung-fu night on the Beeb - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnhFeNvAL08

Ed, I agree. I would like to write more on China and her history and it's place in Western media (the perception of it and the way it's generally negatively reported) but I'm not educated enough, as I've never been there, to do such a thing! All I can say is to visit Shanghai and Hong Kong is a dream of mine. RE: Handover as adverse to handback, I never realised that before. And I agree with your soon to be ex-wife if I may!

xx

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Branching out into the rag trade? Hard times indeed.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Happy birthday Alexei! Lots of health & happiness for your next 58 years!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn

Happy birthday Alexei!!!!! lots of love,

xx

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjay

Happy birthday!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi , i've posted a question for u on Blog 35, thanx. Tony Blades of Birkenhead.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTony Blades

Hear hear, belated feliĉan naskiĝtagon to you Alexei. According to one astrological source your ideal gifts based on your dare of birth are: a rocking chair, roses or an aroma therapy massage.

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

With regards to the "Mr.CHicklets" remark. You may not have heard of it before as I coined the phrase when I first laid eyes on him in one of his early films, where he happens to be displaying the nicest set of oversized central incisors i may have ever seen.
So now you now...the mystery has been cleared...etc etc :)

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeon.

ALso...I love a touch of Wushu in the morning...Cockle warming:))

August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeon.

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