Al Murray is a character comedian best known for his unnamed Pub Landlord character. A descendent of author William Makepeace Thackeray, Murray's act is typified by social and political satire. A keen historian, he studied at Oxford before moving into comedy in the early 1990s, enjoying a long association with Harry Hill. Initially performing a comedy sound-effect routine, Murray won the prestigious Perrier Award for his Pub Landlord act in 1999, his fourth successive year of nomination.
Al Murray is an English comedian, actor and writer known for belligerent satire and mordant parody.
Born in Buckinghamshire, where his father worked for British Rail, Al Murray ia d descendant of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, and is in remainder both to English and Scottish peerage titles. Murray was educated at Bedford School and Oxford University, where he read Modern History and performed in the comedy group the Oxford Revue, in a show directed by Stewart Lee. Shortly after graduating, he began his comedy career collaborating with Harry Hill in several programmes on BBC Radio 4. After touring with comedians such as Harry Hill and Frank Skinner, Murray was nominated for the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1996, 1997, and 1998, and finally won it in 1999. Initially, his act involved sound-effects such as animals and guns.
After several performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, he launched his "Pub Landlord" persona, which he has described as a "know-all know-nothing blowhard who knows the answer to every question even though he hasn't ben asked any of them". Given the roaring success of this comic character, Sky One soon commissioned the sitcom Time Gentleman Please, and ITV also created the chat show Al Murray's Happy Hour. An English publican with die-hard conservative values and a 'little Britain' mentality involving animosity towards the Germans and the French, the Pub Landlord is a scathing parody of boilerplate right-wing rhetoric. Theatre tours have included Al Murray: A Glass Of White Wine For The Lady (another catchphrase of the Landlord's) and Giving It Both Barrels. The Pub Landlord is a regular fixture on British television screens, with his own shows Al Murray's Great British Pub Quiz and Al Murray's Make Christmas Great Again, amongst many others.
Murray has also run for parliament, forming the "Free United Kingdom Party" (FUKP) in the Pub Landlord persona in 2015 in order to contest the seat of South Thanet against the then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage. He eventually won 318 votes, more than the average number of votes received by candidates from, amongst others, the Communist, Socialist, and BNP parties. What is more, Murray is also a semi-professional drummer with a keen interest in music, who plays in the rock covers band T-34 and has even featured at the Download Festival in both 2010 and 2011.
Murray is a keen cricket fan, and was invited to a farewell lunch for the England team before they set off for their 2013-2014 Ashes series down under. He has been awarded an honorary degree (MA) by the University of Bedfordshire in 2014, and an honorary Doctor of Social Science (PhD) by the University of Wolverhampton in 2017.
In 2019, he returned to the subject of history with his podcast We Have Ways of Making You Talk, where with military historian James Holland they cover the history of World War II.
- Chortle Awards 2008 - Best Tour: Nominee
- Chortle Awards 2002 - Best Touring Comedian: Nominee
- Stage name
- The Pub Landlord
- Stage name
- Pub Landlord
- Friday 10th May 1968 (52 years-old)
Non-comedy TV and film credits might be found here:
Al Murray on IMDb