Book Club with Alexei Sayle

Bloomsbury Institute
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Bloomsbury Book Club with Alexei Sayle 

Interview by Henry Jeffreys

Tuesday 17th May

Join acclaimed comedian, novelist and actor Alexei Sayle as he meets Henry Jeffreys to talk about his highly anticipated second volume of memoirs.

'What I brought to comedy was an authentic working-class voice plus a threat of genuine violence - nobody in Monty Python looked like a hard case who'd kick your head in.'

Beautifully written and painfully funnyThatcher Stole My Trousers describes how Alexei set out for London  in 1971. Through the next decade he would be a student at Chelsea Art School, a clerk in a DHSS office (where nobody did any work), one of London's bottom ten freelance illustrators, a school dinner lady and a college lecturer (who kidnapped his students), before he became the original MC of London's first modern comedy club, the Comedy Store, and the landscape of British comedy was altered forever. 

The book chronicles a time when comedy and politics came together in electrifying ways. Recounting the opening season of the Comedy Store, Alexei's experiences with Alternative Cabaret, the Comic Strip and the Young Ones, and his friendships with the comedians who, like him would soon become household names, this is a unique and beguiling blend of social history and memoir.

Fascinating, funny, angry and entertaining, Thatcher Stole My Trousers is a story of class and comedy, politics and love, fast cars and why it's difficult to foul a dwarf in a game of football. Join Alexei and Henry as they cover lots of ground in this fascinating and illuminating interview. Enjoy drinks, and have copies of your book signed, which we will post to you on publication.


Ticket Details

Book Club tickets are £20 including a copy of Thatcher Stole My Trousers posted to you in advance, or £10 without the book. Season membership costs £80. To join please email

Date: Tuesday 17th May
Time: Drinks from 6pm and talk from 6:30pm to 7.30pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP
Tickets: £20 including a hardback book or £10 without the book

Alexei Sayle was born in Liverpool, the only child of Communist parents. He moved to London in 1971 and became the first MC of the Comedy Store. After years of stand-up, television, sitcoms, films and even a hit single, he published a highly acclaimed short story collection, two novels and a novella. His first volume of memoirs, Stalin Ate My Homework, was published in 2010. 

Formerly working in publishing, Henry Jeffreys is now a writer specialising in drinks. He writes regular features for the Oldie, the Spectator, and the Guardian. He contributed to The Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury 2013) and his history of Britain told through drink, Empire of Booze, will be published later this year by Unbound. His blog has consistently been one of the most-read drink blogs in Britain.

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