10 May 1968
№ of episodes
2 regular shows
Alastair James Hay "Al" Murray is a British comedian best known for his stand-up persona, "The Pub Landlord," a stereotypical xenophobic public house licensee. 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.
Murray was 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. Murray attended Bedford School and is a graduate of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he studied history. There he performed in the comedy group, the Oxford Revue in a show directed by Stewart Lee.
He married his wife, Katherine A. Perry in 1995.
List of appearances
- Series 1, Episode 3
- Series 1, Episode 6 (Clips Show)
- Series 2, Episode 2
- Series 2, Episode 7 (Clips Show)
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. 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 lower middle 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 many 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. The character also has a great love for the British 1970's rock band Queen, often getting the musician(s) on his show to perform a song of Queen's in their own style.
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, 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.
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.
His chat show Al Murray's Happy Hour began airing 13 January 2007 on ITV. The show has won a British Comedy Award and was nominated for a National Television Award. A new series returned on 12 September 2008.
Murray was the headliner on the 11 July 2009 episode of Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, which was filmed in Brighton.
On 18 December 2009, Murray hosted the BBC One TV show, Live at the Apollo.
As a teenager, Murray was a drummer in a band with his schoolmates. He played drums on the music for his Pub Landlord TV series and during an appearance by Phil Collins, they performed a duet.
In 2003, Murray appeared on an episode of the BBC's Time Commanders alongside Kate Silverton, Raji James and Ricky Groves.
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. 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.
In 2007, Murray published the book The Pub Landlord's Book of British Common Sense. It consists of The Pub Landlord's opinions and views on a number of topics such as James Bond actors, religion, politics, television, films and Churchill quotes.
Al Murray starred in Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder, a sketch show, which aired in early 2009.
Murray is the Patron of the charity , which is a development and relief charity for children in Cambodia.
- 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)
- Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder (2009)
- Beautiful British Tour Live at the O2 (2009)