Blog 84

Here is the list of the book readings I'm doing over the next few months.



Colchester Arts Centre.  Feb 26th.



Pontardawe Arts Centre.  6th.

Flavel.  Dartmouth. 7th.

Acorn Penzance. 8th.

Exeter Phoenix.  9th.

Plough Nth Devon 10th.

Winchester Discovery 11th.

Quay Sudbury 13th.



Worcester Huntingdon Hall  16th.

Cutty Sark.  Greenwich 20th.

Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn 29th.



Forest.  New MIlton 12th

Albany Coventry 16th

Berwick Maltings 27th.

Alnwick Playhouse 28th

Selby Town Hall 29th.

MAC. Birmingham 30th.


BLOG 84a.

I fell over in the street yesterday.  We’d bought some steamer cushions, I think they’re called, for the sun-loungers in our place in Spain and they come in these long cardboard boxes.  I took the boxes out to the car prior to taking them to the recycling but they needed breaking down a bit.  I was stomping on one when it got caught round my ankles and I fell to the pavement.  I’m getting quite good at falling.  I came off  my bike twice last year, once when I was hit by that taxi and again when I struck a pothole in Islington and came off, each time I feel I fell with the grace of a tiger though CCTV footage might disagree.    A guy passing with his dog said “The cardboard box fought back.”  Then he did ask me if I was OK.

Falling is a big thing for older people, apparently apart from the injuries they suffer, they/we also get scared and stop moving about.   So I read in the Mail an article from a doctor saying you can counter-act this by standing on one leg, at first for 10 seconds then increasing the time to improve you balance.  So that’s what I did, I started standing like a stork and was getting quite good at it until I was walking on the Heath one day and I felt a terrible pain in my calf, so intense that I could hardly walk and had to limp back to the car.  I’m sure this pain was caused by the unusual strain being put on my calf by me standing on that leg unsupported for long periods.   Now I don’t know what to do.


Blog 83

Product news!  A while ago I was on Broadcasting House on Radio 4 reviewing the papers and I launched into a Marxist denunciation of Strictly Come Dancing which they were very taken with.  I’ve now done a longer piece for the Guardian on the same theme.  I’m not sure when it will be printed but I would guess in the next few days.

I’ve also booked a small book reading tour for next year, a few dates a month so I’ll put those dates on here when they are all confirmed.  I’ll mostly be reading from the new memoir “Thatcher Stole My Trousers”.  I’ve moved publishers from Sceptre to Bloomsbury and they want to publish that in March 2016.  So bit of time to go.

Celebrity gossip! I bumped into Stewart Lee the other day in Camden, he bought me a coffee and while we were chatting he got a parking ticket.  I said I'd buy him something nice for Christmas to compensate but I probably won't.


Blog 83a

Sadly my show "Hot Tango Cool Salsa" is not real but there's a woman on the Guardian comments who thinks it is.


Blog 83b

Yes thank you Peter, I thought for a while there I'd written a song that I had no recollection of writing.

Here's some of the dates on my very spread out book reading tour.  Which is called "Listen with Alexei"

 Thursday 22nd Fareham-(think this one's sold out but might be some returns)

23rd Dorchester_Corn Exchange.

3rd Feb Merlin Theatre Frome.  

7th Gulbenkian Canterbury.  (This one's just an interview type thing)

26th Feb-Colchester Arts.

 6th March Pontardaw Arts.  

7th Flavel Dartmouth.  

8th Acorn Penzance.


Blog 82

It seems if I wake up and my phone has loads of messages on it these days it means somebody has died.  Either a comic like Robin Williams or Rik or hundreds of people as in Gaza.

My friend Josh Howie, (who got five stars in Edinburgh from Kate Copstick in the Scotsman Hooray!) suggested I start stockpiling obits of my friends.  In a quiet moment I could work on a eulogy to somebody I know because who knows?  I might be talking about them on 5 Live in a few weeks time or doing a piece about them for the Telegraph.


Blog 82a.

It's like the mid 90s all over again from Sunday because I'm on the TV twice! Sunday on BBC4 is "The John Moores Prize with Alexei Sayle" which is the documentary I've been making about this prestigious painting prize.  Then on the 23rd I am guest lead on Holby City, playing a failed comedian with a heart defect and an illegitimate son! I don't know why they chose me.  My friend Siobhan Redmond who was in Holby for two years says every episode would be 30 seconds long if all the patients just said to the staff "Mind you own fucking business"

On the dead comic front.  When Joan Rivers died I did get offered Newsnight and a couple of other things so now I'm wondering if there'a an agent who specialises in comedian's obituaries.


Blog 82b

As my friend David Stafford pointed out, Sir Kenneth Clarke never did a Holby City in the same week as one of his fancy-pants arts programmes went out did he?  I bet if he was still alive he'd feel like shit now.  Same goes for Andrew Graham Dixon.


Blog 82c

 Yes Tony Visconti.  Not many people know about my part in the creation of the Ziggy album.


Blog 81

Yes I’ve written a piece for tomorrow’s Independent about Rik but though radio and TV have been phoning I’m too upset to speak coherently.


Blog 80

Blimey I’m all over the Saturday Telegraph this week (5th April)!  There’s me stunt driving in the motoring section then there’s me visiting Hull with Matthew Norman in the Weekend section.   It’s an Alexei Extravaganza!

I got knocked off my bike this week by a taxi driver turning left across me, this is the first accident I’ve had in ten years.   Somebody called an ambulance but I cancelled it, though I’m still in a bit of pain today, (it happened on Tuesday)  but what shocked me was how unpleasant the cabbie was, he’d hit me and he hadn’t been indicating but he still was really obnoxious.  I always think it’s easier when you’re driving or cycling to think that people are just trying to get about and not to assume that other road users are hateful but this guy really tested that belief.

With regard to your question Anthony on Critical Race Theory.  Interestingly a  few years ago at a bookreading a woman asked me a question about identity politics, I said I was more used to people asking me about working with the Daleks and she replied that in fact the Daleks were a prime example of identity politics since they were a single race trying to advance their own agenda.  Without seeking to devalue CRT (which I don’t know enough about) the thing that I always found liberating about Marxism is that it puts people’s economic relationship with each other above all else.  So white oppression in the United States is a function of the white ruling class and not of white people and any race is capable of oppressing any other race or its own race if it becomes the economic ruling class.


Blog 80a

The stories on the internet that I am going to take over from Sir Bruce Forsyth on "Strictly..." are premature.  Let's just say we are in talks with the BBC but that's as far as I can go right now.


Blog 80b

I'm on the TV tonight, Channel 4 in "For The Love of Cars" with Philip Glennister driving to Paris in a Triumph Stag.  Don't you all envy me?