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Blog 104

Hi Russell.  Sorry I’ve been away for too long.  Yes much coming up in the New Year.   On Febuary and March Radio 4 will be broadcasting some of my short stories in the 11.30 a.m.slot.  The series is called “The Absence  Of Normal” and it is a dramatisation rather than a reading and there are already some big name actors on board so I’ll keep you all updated about that.  Series 3 of “Sandwich Bar” is also planned for next year scheduled to be transmitted in October and November and I guess we’ll be recording in the summer.  Again I’ll keep you posted.  As to standup I don’t have any plans right now except that I will be doing both the Southport and Chester comedy festivals in 2019 but two gigs really isn’t enough is it? I really do feel I should be doing more standup especially as the few I have done in the past years have all gone really well its just hard to find the right venues.  I performed at a couple of benefits this year and they all went well but I felt like they weren’t quite right for me to work out new material so need to find something better.   Adam Buxton just emailed to ask if I’ll be on his podcast so I guess that’ll be happening in the new year too.


BLOG 104 A
Ten years blimey!  Just a few quick updates then.  Work is going very well on the Radio 4 dramatisations of my short stories.  Like I said the series will be called “The Absence of Normal” and goes out now in the 11 a.m. slot starting in late Febuary.  Many, many big star names are involved.   I’ve also begun writing series 3 of “Imaginary Sandwich Bar” and that will record in the Summer so if you want tickets for the recordings keep a lookout.
I’m probably going to be doing some publicity for the “Absence of Normal” but chances are I won’t be on Desert Island Discs.  Over the years when I’ve had a TV series or a book out the publicist has always said to me “Have you been on Desert Isalnd Discs?” and I always reply “No”.  “Well” they say confidently “I’ll fix that”. “Good luck.” Is my retort.  A few days later I see the publicist and I ask them “so am I going to be on Desert Island Discs then?” and they look at me white-faced and shaking and say “No..no that’s not going to happen”. Now this has been going on for three decades and there have been numerous changes of management at the BBC and at Desert Island Discs itself but I still can’t get on.    I think there must be some kind of big black book in a secret vault at the BBC saying who can never be allowed on “Desert Island Discs” and I’m in it but the thing is I don’t know what I did to get on the blacklist.  Did I blacken the name of the sacred Roy Plombley, did I go on a date with Michael Parkinson then never call him the next day?  I don’t know but if I ever do get on the show my first disc is going to be “Fuk Da Police” by NWA.


Yes that's right.  I was on Steve Wright today and I'm doing Loose Ends tomorrow and Shaun Keaveny on R6 March 7th.  Publicity blitz! And yes Absence of Normal starts 25 Feb.  11.30. I'll also be doing some Sandwich Bar tryouts at the Museum of Comedy for five nights from March 19th.

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Reader Comments (11)

Thanks Alexei!

See, I'm all happy now.

So much is coming.
Yes you certainly should do more stand up. The gigs I went to were excellent. And you should film them with Go Faster Stripe or at the O2 or something.

Adam Buxton's podcast is great. I'm very happy about this.

This morning I was listening to Rule of Three (Jason Hazely and Joel Morris's podcast featuring people in the comedy industry discussing their favourite comedy.) I'd love to hear you on it, but I've got no idea if you've got a comedy you can "geek out" about for the requisite amount of time.

November 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Jones

I just realized I missed the second series of Sandwich Bar. I hope it's still there on the site.

November 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHenrik

Have you looked at Birmingham? The Fat Penguin comedy club runs Wednesdays out of a pub called the Patrick Kavanagh in Moseley - it might be the right size and type of audience to test material...

November 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob McD

I've just read Thatcher Stole My Trousers which was brilliant. (I bought it in hardcover but I was saving it for a time I could really savour it, which made sense to me at the time.) Then, because I loved it so much, I started to re-read Overtaken. And I'm noticing all the autobiographical bits in Overtaken, which is adding to my self-congratulatory enjoyment. (The Van Gogh in the hall in Rome; Sage Pasquale/Linda's ability to not tread in dog shit etc.) But I also noticed a description of Florence as having a body like a beautiful dress she had just that minute put on, and that "For the ordinary civilian, their body was merely something to go down to the shops in." Which made me think of Mister Roberts!
I'm writing this here because I'm having difficulty keeping it to myself, but I don't know anyone who would tolerate my level of smugness as I told them.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Jones

This blog turned ten years old recently.
To celebrate, I'm writing this here.
I'll also mention that I'm reading Great Bus Journeys of the World for the first time, and that I'm hoping to spot which bit David Stafford wrote when he was tripping off his tits. As yet my search has been inconclusive. I'd appreciate any help.
Oh and thirdly, I listened to a lovely interview with Arthur Matthews during which he said Alexei was always very good to him and Graham Linehan. So I thought I might as well ask, Alexei, if you ever want another writer who is willing to bend to your voice, I'd do it for a bag of balloons and a pencil.

January 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Jones

Looking forward to the Radio 4 dramatizations. I'd love to hear you on Desert Island Discs after hearing you stand in for Jarvis Cocker on Radio 6 before. Was re-reading The Weeping Woman Hotel, which is absolutely hilarious. The character of Patrick seems really prescient in the current discussions about 'incels' and 'toxic masculinity', given that the book was from 2006 . Have you any insights into how that character of Patrick came about, and how you seem to be so far ahead of the curve in terms of understanding today's sexual politics?

January 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBronagh GC

I'm re-reading Barcelona Plates (and later, The Dog Catcher) in preparation for this radio series. Are you allowed to tell us which stories the scripts are based on? And who's written them?
Great news about Sandwich Bar III.
Lauren Laverne will have you on Desert Island Discs! She had "Tob" on the other day. That first record really made me laugh.

Any memories or thoughts about Jeremy Hardy? 57. Jesus.

February 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRussell Jones

Alexei was on Steve Wright In The Afternoon today. The Absence of Normal starts on Monday 25 February at 11:30am on BBC Radio 4.

February 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thomas

This is good news. A fan since OTT.
I have thought since reading the short stories in Barcelona plates & Dog Catcher that they should be adapted for tv.
Radio seems to start the ball rolling then tv gets hold. Here's hoping.
Anything by yourself on tv , radio , book or live is worth the wait. Sorry for creeping but the amount of shit the BBC put on in the name of entertainment means a massive ratio of about 600 Punt,Dennis,Jupp to one Sayle.

February 23, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMr FB

Absolutely loved listening to The Only Man Stalin Was Afraid of just now. Brilliant story and brilliant cast; chilling, hilarious and poignant in equal measure. Great final twist which is always the hardest bit to write. Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing the next one.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEliza chisholm

Where can I get a copy of the 'Live at the comedy club' i had a tape but that history.
Is the material on another CD ? Please blog more Alexi!

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRod

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