Blog 52

So anyway...Do you think I should be on twitter?  I can sometimes think of little enough to say here but my publisher’s are having a workshop for their authors on how to use it and its supposed to be a great tool for promotion so I don’t know.  My publisher’s recently held a lunch for book bloggers and authors at a posh club, there were nine authors (people like me, Chris Cleave, Andrew Miller and so on) and nine bloggers, except five of the bloggers didn’t bother to turn up. One particular woman had written vile reviews of nearly everybody there and another had to go to hospital or something but still it’s definitely a different landscape out there but at least there were more sandwiches for me. The world is obviously changing and I think you do have to decide whether to get on board or not and I think in the end I do want to be part of things so my next book will be produced by Tinie Tempah.  (Does that joke work or does it just make me seem pathetic?  I don’t really know who Tinie Tempah is).

The other night I went to the press night of a play about middle class drug addiction and during the play four members of the audience had to be carried out in a faint.  Somebody said it might have been needle phobia or the play was really powerful but I think maybe some of the audience had recently been in rehab and the play was a bit too much for them.

I also recently went to the Index on Censorship awards.  A few days before, the lady upstairs, a leading human rights lawyer had borrowed Wilf because they’ve got mice but all he did was claw her in the eye when he was playing and she had to go to hospital.  Also her niece was one of the organisers of the awards so all the talk at the Index on Censorship awards wasn’t concerning Egypt or Belarus but Wilf.

 Also...I am of course very much in support of the Libyan rebels in their fight against the appalling dictatorship of Ghaddaffi but they do drive me nuts.  I find myself constantly shouting at the TV. “Stop shooting in the air!  If one of you’re problems is that you’re low on ammunition then stop firing it at seagulls!”  I think indeed that it may turn out that there are no pro-Ghaddaffi forces at all and all the rebels are being killed by their own ammunition falling out of the sky.

On this point does anybody know, would the Libyans be using the old Soviet 7.62x39mm rounds or the more modern 5.54x39.5mm of the AK 74?  

And what is its lethality if it falls on you?


BLOG 52a

Yes he did pluck at my chest hair, he should have just made it disappear with magic.

The play was Knot of the Heart at the Almeida.


Blog 51

I'm looking into the practicality and legality of doing some audio downloads and will get back to you later.

That warm up man I guess was Bobby Crush and he did play his part in the creation of Bobby Chariot but also Felix thingy who used to be in Hi De Hi and of course Stan Boardman.

I am working on volume two of my memoirs though I am also writing some new short stories which may be published first.


Now here's the photo of me and my racing bike that you've all been waiting for, though I think its a bit blurry. I do in fact wear a helmet when I'm riding this since I get up to some high speeds though I don't when I'm on my day to day street bike.  It was wonderful when I was in the Hague to see that nobody wore a helmet which is the way it should be. 

Columbus alloy frame, ITM extension with straight bars (I did have drops but for ten years I only rode straight bars with trigger shifts on my hybrid and got so used to that, now I have Shimano Deore levers and shifts although the brakes are Ultegra) Fizik saddle, BRC carbon forks, Mavic Pro wheels and Shimano Utegra rear mech and triple chainring at the front (even though up until this bike I rode Campagnolo since I was twelve years old) and Look Keo pedals.  The Wilf is optional.



A guy emailed asking me about a routine I used to do about a guy on a motorbike "drop down a cog, give it a handful, I was laughin my mate was laughin".  I think   the routine is called Romford Bypass  but I can't remember where it can be found, is it on one of the  series of Stuff?  Does anybody know?




Not to crow or anything but...

Actually if he came to me I'd be able and willing to tell him how to get at least some of his mojo back.   Though I do think I need to be issued a formal apology from everybody in the public, press and showbiz who under-appreciated me from the late 80s to the mid 90s.



Hi Ben, I don't see why your ex-wife took her anger out on my album but I did notice a nice Irish journalist has downloaded the Cak album on a site called dumbriffs


Blog 50

Thank you for all your bike related and other comments and I’ll try and take some photos of me and my bike and post them-its not a pretty sight..  I don’t think I’ve ever thought myself in Bastogne Liege Bastogne but I was having lunch with a friend down Wapping High Street the other day which is heavily cobbled and travelling down there on my bike I did briefly imagine myself in the famous “Hell of the North”  The Paris Roubaix.  professional cyclists, consume 8,000 calories a day and I did manage that part of the experience.

I was reading yesterday in the Sunday Times a piece by Robert Penn author of the best selling book, “Its All About the Bike.” He was writing about giving his new bike, made of components he’s sourced from all over the world a name. In the end he decided on  “Ffynnon” which means spring or fountain in Welsh.  I’ve never named a bike but years ago I did own a 1970 Rover P5B Coupe, which does briefly appear in some of my TV sketches and the Comic Strip Film Supergrass.  Anyway after a while, wanting something more modern I sold the car to a rugby playing priest from Bolton.  On the phone I said to this man, “Oh by the way the car’s name is Roger”  He replied that he planned to re-name the P5B “Bishop Beaufort.”  Well I didn’t say anything but in my mind there was no way that car was a Catholic, and certainly not   Cardinal Bishop of Winchester and Papal Legate for Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia.   If we’d been talking about a Ferrari or even a Citroen DS OK but there was something very Church of England about Rovers of that period, they couldn’t possibly be any other denomination.


Blog 50a

Yes people often quote bits of my routines to me that I can't remember, in fact I can't really remember Mr Gibson, what was it about? There will have to come a point where I sit down and watch all my old shows then it will all come flooding back but for some reason I'm reluctant.  And on the topic of old shows I think there was a facebook group trying to get the BBC to release The All New Alexei Sayle Show and Merrygoround on DVD and I did look into it but I think there was some problem with ownership of the material or something.  Again I can't remember but maybe I'll enquire again.

Yes the tanks at Kursk would have been T 34s and KV 1s.  Though the soviets did use the year of origin for firearms they didn't follow that practice for tanks or planes.


Blog 49

I’ve just discovered that there are some new comments that turn up on old blogs so have just gone through all the old blogs checking out what’s there, which was a bit of a weird experience.  Particularly I avoided reading all the comments during the whole Gaza hoohah (already two years ago!) but looking at them now you just think “wow people are crazy.”  I remember years ago I was with Island Records (Me, Bob Marley, Was not Was etc ) and Dave Robinson who founded Stiff Records took over managing Island too.  On our first meeting he said to me with wonder in his voice “wow people really hate you.”

Since the summer I’ve had a new interest.  I’ve alway cycled but haven’t done it seriously for years but in August I got the Condor racing bike I bought a decade ago out of the shed (Columbus alloy frame, Shimano Ultegra groupset).  So now most days I go to the Park and ride round and round in my tight fitting lycra pants.  When another guy comes past me on a serious bike I chase them and we race until I feel sick and dizzy, sometimes if I can manage it I overtake them and give them a tow for a while.  Not a word is spoken during all this.  

Actually I’ve just had a thought, I’d always thought we were racing but maybe the guy in front is simply desperately trying to get away from this gasping, sweaty fat man in elastic trousers who seems to be after them.


Blog 48

Hi Jay. Yes Arvon is a very good organisation and next year I’m a guest on a comedy writing course, I think in the summer, as well as doing a one-day Short Story workshop on the 26 March (not an Arvon thing but with Vicky Grut my co-tutor at Lumb Bank) .  On reflection I don’t think I’d do another whole week’s teaching, certainly not in a remote farmhouse, down a track in a rainswept valley only a few miles away from Wuthering Heights but I do like doing one day events.  I had a very nice morning at South Bank University last week talking to their 1st year creative writing course.  I am never sure with students how much they know, whether they think the Second World War was fought between the Allies and the Martian Federation for example but this lot were very knowledgeable and a great audience.

Earlier in the week I signed a letter to the Guardian concerning Julian Assange along with John Pilger and a couple of other old lefties.  Since then I have been trampled in the rush by a lot of his other more famous celebrity supporters eager to be associated with this cause.   I don’t mind, I’ve only met Vanessa Redgrave once but somehow when I did she persuaded me to stand £50,000 bail for some Chechen warlord the Russians were after. I wasn’t worried about him skipping since if he’d gone anywhere else he would have been assasinated but I was a bit concerned that they’d make him come and live with me as part of his bail conditions.  What would he want for breakfast, did he like cats, would he hog the TV remote control?  In the end I think they just let him go but its tougher than you think being a celebrity activist. I can't imagine Julian Assange being much of a laugh around the house if he had to come and live with me and you'd never get him off the computer.