Al Murray

Al Murray

Infobox Comedian
name=Al Murray

birth_date=Birth date and age|1968|5|10|df=yes
birth_place=Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England

Alastair James Hay "Al" Murray (born 10 May 1968), is a British comedian best known for his stand-up persona, "The Pub Landlord," a stereotypical xenophobic public house licensee, and indeed earlier in his career he performed in pubs.

In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy and in 2007 he was voted number sixteen on Channel 4's hundred greatest stand-ups. [cite web | url=,11710,1101525,00.html | title=The A-Z of laughter | publisher=The Guardian | work=Guardian Unlimited | accessdate=2006-12-27]



Born in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Ingram Bernard Hay Murray and his wife Juliet Anne Thackeray Ritchie, through whom he is a great-great-great-grandson of William Makepeace Thackeray, his grandfather was diplomat Sir Ralph Murray. [cite web | url= | title=Al Murray's Biography | publisher=Chortle | accessdate=2006-12-27] Murray attended Bedford School and is a graduate of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he studied history. There he performed in the elite comedy group, the Oxford Revue in a show directed by Stewart Lee.cite web | url= | title=Al Murray | publisher=BBC | work=BBC Comedy | accessdate=2006-12-27]


Murray has toured with other comedians including Harry Hill, Jim Tavaré and Frank Skinner. He won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1999, after being nominated in 1996, 1997 and 1998. [cite web | url= | title=Perrier Comedy Awards | accessdate=2006-12-27] He started out with an act that involved sound-effect impressions, including of guns, animals and a particularly impressive car boot; a combination that prompted an equal number of plaudits for vocal skill and complaints of tastelessness.

The Pub Landlord

The Pub Landlord is a stereotypical working class British nationalist with a dislike for anything "un-British". He has a particular dislike of Germans and the French; he will challenge the audience to name any country in the world before producing some plausible instance of Britain bettering it. Catchphrases include "All hail to the ale!", "...beautiful British name!", "Time-waster!", "You DISGUST me!", "Pint for the fella... Glass of white wine/ fruit-based drink for the lady!", "The Point is this..." "if we had no rules where would we be? : France! and if we had too may rules where would we be?: Germany!", "Is your dad proud of you, son? He's never said so, has he?" and "I was never confused", which is an allusion to a supposed gay interlude in his character's early identity.Fact|date=July 2008

The character first appeared in 1994 when Murray was the tour support act for Harry Hill (Murray cut his TV teeth on Hill's TV show playing his 'big brother Alan': "If it's too hard, I can't understand it!"), and subsequently featured in a short film, "Pub Fiction" (1995). Murray's theatre show with the pub landlord character "My Gaff, My Rules" was short-listed for an Laurence Olivier Award in 2002, [cite web | url= | title=2001-2002 26th Laurence Olivier Awards | publisher=LA Times | accessdate=2006-12-27] and he has also appeared in character as the central focus of the television series "Time Gentlemen Please", as well as a number of other television appearances, including the "An Audience with..." strand. Subsequent theatre tours, "...A Glass of White Wine for the Lady" (another catchphrase) and "Giving it Both Barrels" also ran to critical acclaim. When asked about the sitcom during live shows, in character as the Pub Landlord, Murray claims to be unhappy with the television series, a joke some have taken literally.

A quiz show, "Fact Hunt" presented by Murray as the Pub Landlord and named after the fictional quiz machine of the same name from "Time Gentlemen Please" was shown on late-night ITV in 2005. [cite web | url= | title=Pints mean prizes | publisher=Chortle | work= | accessdate=2007-02-12]

From January 2006, Murray filled in for Tim Lovejoy on Virgin Radio on Sunday afternoons, in character as the Pub Landlord, and broadcast his final show on 24 December 2006. [cite web | url= | title=Al Murray: Time Gentlemen Please | publisher=Virgin Radio | accessdate=2007-02-12]

His chat show "Al Murray's Happy Hour" began airing 13 January 2007 on ITV. [cite web | url=,,14934-2498641_3,00.html | title=When Harry met Murray | publisher=The Times | work=The Times Online | accessdate=2007-01-07] The show has won a "British Comedy Award" and was nominated for a "National Television Award". A new series returned on 12 September 2008, and of this Murray said, quote|It goes without saying ... the trouble with telly these days is that the viewer is not credited with enough intelligence and the fact I'm back on is proof they know what's good for them [cite journal | last = Penn | first = Elaine | work = TV Choice | date = 6 - 12 Sept 2008 | title = Lager Than Life]

Other work

In 2004, Murray appeared as a contestant in the first series of "Hell's Kitchen", Gordon Ramsay's cookery based reality show on ITV, and in 2005 appeared as a contestant on "Comic Relief does Fame Academy" on BBC One. [cite web | url= | title=60 SECONDS: Al Murray | publisher=Metro (Associated Metro Limited) | accessdate=2007-02-12] Murray presented "Al Murray's Road to Berlin" on the Discovery Channel. This was a series about the last phase of World War II, taking him from the beaches of Normandy, through Arnhem and up the Rhine, ending in Berlin. In the series he drove around in a restored Willys Jeep, and interviewed survivors from both sides of the war. In the episode about Operation Market Garden he parachuted, together with veterans, from a plane, to commemorate the battle. [cite web | url= | title=Landlord pulls in stars | publisher=Manchester Evening News | work= | accessdate=2007-02-12] [cite web | url= | title=Putting the Al in altitude | publisher=Chortle | work= | accessdate=2007-02-12]

In 2007, Murray published the book The Pub Landlord's Book of British Common Sense. It consists of his opinions and views on a number of topics such as James Bond actors, religion, politics, television, films and Churchill quotes.

Murray and his wife Amber are trustees of the charity [ CamKids] , which gives assistance to children in Cambodia.

Release List

*Time Gentlemen Please (2000)
*My Gaff, My Rules (2003)
*...and a Glass of White Wine for the Lady! (2004)
*Giving It Both Barrels (2006)
*Live at the Palladium (2007)


External links

* [ The Pub Landlord] (Official site)
* [ Al Murray profile on IMDb]

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