Talk:Alexei Sayle

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Screen plays and videos[edit]

Re - Thoss' question. The play was "Night Voice", a wonderful piece of work shown in 1990, but never repeated. I wonder if the BBC still have it? Does anyone know anything about "The Alexei Sayle Pirate Video" released in 1982? I was not aware of it. Any info would be much appreciated!

Scrabble1968 (talk) 21:41, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

He was also in the film "selling Hitler" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


Is there a source for him being an ex-Communist? A lot of his comedy was built around his political leanings and while I admit I haven't kept track of him in recent years, I think the statement that he is no longer a Communist needs a little expansion in the article. 23skidoo 21:19, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, easily found in this link from the BBC:
"The comedian Alexei Sayle was once a member of the Communist Party's youth wing." --stochata 21:26, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Noted, but the article doesn't indicate that he isn't still a subscriber to the ideology. He simply is no longer a member of the youth wing, which is logical since he's in his 50s now... 23skidoo 21:30, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Gularscute writes:

It's hard to work out his political allegiances these days. I get the impression that he's still a bit leftist in his views but his mockery of his early Marxism, ("I used to call my grandparents the capitalist oppressor... because they ran a corner shop") coupled with the fact that he's been one of the highest paid voice-over actors in British commercials strongly suggests to me that he's no longer a communist.

James writes:

unless he finances communist projects w/ the cash? no, i feel dear alexei was never really a communist at all. in the same way one might have a religious background and upbringing, but yet not be a true believer. or maybe i'm wrong. politically, he never seems sure of himself. certainly he supports the left-populist administrations in latin america, but who doesn't? ken is red agin; and gorgeous george...

Thoss asks: does anyone out there know the name of the TV play Sayle appeared in some when in the late 80s/early 90s? He played the lead, a presenter of a talk radio show. I came to the page to find the info, and am disappointed not to have found it. (SEE ABOVE)


Sounds like his cameo on Dr Who.-- 11:26, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Ahem! This bit:

"To many Alexi sold out in the late nineties with his "toilet duck" adverts and his psuedo high brow interviews, hardly cutting edge communism.More Fat Cat in Highgate luxury plays working class prole.Doesn't really work anymore, his comedy and him .Has probably gone full circle and got a "new motor ".Was never really that convinced by him in the first place.Sure he never actually grafted with the workers for a minute.Short stories......nice."

A few comments here....firstly, the UK isn't run as a communist country, therefore even if you happen to believe in communism, you can't actually live "as a communist" in a capitalist country. In a capitalist country you need money to have an acceptable standard of living, and therefore you either go along with that, or have a miserablely uncomfortable life. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing in Marx, Lenin or Mao about being required to have a very poor standard of living in order to be a believer in communism. An an analogy, it would be equally unfair to criticise a person who believes in free market capitalism, but who happens to live in a communist country, for not practising free market capitalism himself - the country he is living in simply wouldn't make it viable, however much he believed in it. The argument you are making is the same rather tiresome nonsence that people trot out when they talk about "champagne socialists" e.g "Oh yes, Alexei Sayle is just a champagne socialist - claims to believe in communism but lives in a nice house in Hampstead" - what about a person who says he believes in capitalism and supports the Tory party but still lives in a small terraced house and has a 10 year old car? Would you slag him off and call him a "Brown ale Conservative"?

Secondly, what exactly does "pseudo high brow interviews" mean? The interviews I have seen with Alexie Sayle where he is talking about politics, art etc, appear to be genuine enough. He clearly is a fairly intelligent bloke and he knows what he's talking about, so where's the "psuedo" come into it? Just because you don't personally like someone that doesn't invalidate everything they say, nor does it mean that the points they are making are in any way contrived or fake. It sounds like you're just whinging becaue the subjects he was discussing were too complicated for you! Grafting with the workers? What the hell has THAT got to do with anything? To go to the same analogy I used before, does a person who claims to be a capitalist and supporter of the Tory party deserve to be criticised because he has never "done a job working in the City of London banks"?

Believe it or not, there are people who genuinely believe in certain things, even though they may not coincide with your views. I really cannot imagine why Alexei Sayle would pretend to be a communist if he wasn't one. What would be the point? Extra popularity? Hardly - how many people in the UK are communists? Less than 5%......

Think about it (go on, if you try it you might like it).StanPomeray (talk) 14:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

not only makes no sense but is hardly objective. Deleted for now and will do a bit of researfch before bulking out the missing years (mid nineties). Eclaire1979 (talk) 18:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Some years since this discussion happened, Sayle has made his views very clear. In 2009 Sayle wrote an article for the Sunday Times Magazine under the theme '20 Years On', subtitled 'I felt foolish about my left-wing ideals when the Berlin Wall came down, admits Alexei Sayle'. "By 1989 I was no longer any kind of communist... I realised my hopes that somehow, as Gorbachev had planned, communism could be reformed and the best of the system preserved, were idiotic. There was no best." (talk) 21:54, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, thats basically a dismissal of his earlier ideas about the Soviet Union, rather than Communism or Marxism per se. I think it would be a stretch even for the most ardent supporter of the USSR to suggest that the system that was in place there was remotely Communist or Marxist, irrespective of what the Soviets may have called themselves or the political party that was running the USSR!

Response to the "image request" tag[edit]

I can't resist replying ... Well, there was an image on this article, till the copyright police took it down ... there, I feel better now. 23skidoo 00:07, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Missing info?[edit]

The article says, "In the aftermath of May 1968, he joined the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)." The implication is that something happened in May, 1968 that prompted his joining the party, but whatever it is is not explained. Can someone update this? -- Hux 08:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Family info query[edit]

"has one son who is now in his early twenties.[citation needed]" I'd say this citation is needed pretty urgently, or this shoudl be removed. I'm sure I've read in several interviews with Sayle that he has never had children. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary they should put it up, or it should be removed. On a different note, this entry needs more about Sayle's career as an author, which has been his main direction for over seven years now.

-JG 19/10/07 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


Although the photo of a rabbit is quite amusing, I dont think that it is Alexei Sayle :) Someone revert? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Radio Four's Fourth Column?[edit]

I have somewhat vague recollections of sayle "appearing" on radio four's fourth column in the mid nineties, anyone else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

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Sayle is mostly of Albanian descent?[edit]

Today I reverted a good faith edit by an unregistered user. The user had removed this content from the Early Life section:

Sayle's mother was of Lithuanian Jewish descent and some members of his mother's family were very devout Jews, as he mentioned when he nominated Palestinian rights advocate Edward Said on the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives.

A link to the 2010 Bookseller article "'Ullo Alexei! Gotta new memoir?" was also removed (the link was broken so I've fixed it: )

The user replaced the above with the following statement:

Sayle is mostly of Albanian descent.

A reference from the Daily Mail was included with the title "Albania, the minnows who worship Norman Wisdom, are the unlikeliest of Euro 2016 qualifiers after securing spot in France":

The reference does indeed include the claim that "The family of stand-up comedian Alexi Sayle, born in Liverpool, come from Albania".

I'm not sure if this is true; I hadn't heard it before. The content from the Bookseller piece is quite well known. So I've restored the original, and hope someone can help to confirm or deny the Albanian connection. Polly Tunnel (talk) 18:38, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

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