Replying to an advert for would-be comics, Liverpudlian firebrand Alexei Sayle became the first compere of the Comedy Store on its opening in 1979, going on to be at the forefront of the burgeoning alternative comedy scene of the ‘80s. He came to the public’s attention after his regular appearances in The Young Ones, playing several members of the Eastern European family who owned the squalid student house where the sitcom took place. His own show, Alexei Sayle’s Stuff, came to screens in 1988, mixing Pythonesque surrealism with his own unique style, and won an international Emmy.
As well as his television credits, Sayle has worked extensively in radio, and has appeared in several films including ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, and ‘Carry on Columbus’. While taking a long break from stand-up, Sayle became an author and columnist, and has penned two short story anthologies and five novels, including a graphic novel.
Robin Ince is best known as a comedian and populariser of scientific ideas.
He is the creator and co-host of the podcast Robin and Josie’s Book Shambles, which gains over 100,000 hits a month, as well as the weekly music podcast with Michael Legge, Vitriola, which mixes nonsense, arguments and discussions on the latest music releases.
He continues to present the Sony Gold Award winning BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox and has toured solo shows about consciousness, Charles Darwin, and physics. He wrote the book, The Bad Book Club, and has edited and written short stories for two volumes of Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians, as well as writing and presenting documentaries about the history of self-help, comedians and melancholy, Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, Schrodinger’s Cat and General Relativity.
He has curated, produced and hosted numerous nights mixing science, music and comedy at the Hammersmith Apollo and across the UK. Recently, he has received Honorary Fellowship of UCL, an honorary doctorate from Royal Holloway College (University of London), and is a fellow of the British Science Association.
Numerous TV and radio appearances include Just a Minute, Mock the Week, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Robin has won three Chortle Awards, including the Time Out Outstanding Achievement Award and was nominated for Best Live Show at the British Comedy Awards.