Alexei Sayle to return to stand-up comedy

Actor-turned-author will hold his first stand-up show in 16 years this December

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After an absence of more than a decade and a half, Alexei Sayle is set to make his return to stand-up comedy.

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The former Mr Balowski is booked to host four weekly comedy nights at the Soho Theatre in London early next year, which will feature performances from a selection of new comics chosen by Sayle.

He’ll also appear alongside Robin Ince as part of the comedian’s secular Christmas show, Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, on 19 December.

Sayle quit stand-up in 1995 to devote more time to writing, but recently admitted on his blog that he’d “been going round a few comedy clubs to get a feel of what the scene is like these days.”

Though the comic commented that he wasn’t taken by some of the trends in comedy at the moment, saying: “The one thing I don’t find very interesting is all the bland observational stuff that’s out there – ‘young men in T-shirts noticing things’, as Tony Laws put it.”

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Alexei Sayle began performing stand-up in 1979 and was the first MC of The Comedy Store, the London nightclub that helped launch the careers of “alternative” comedians like Rik Mayall and Jennifer Saunders, before moving into acting and, later, writing.