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Thatcher Stole My Trousers

Thatcher Stole My Trousers

by Alexei Sayle


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In 1971, Alexei Sayle, raised by communist parents in 1950s Liverpool, set out to find his fortune in London. It was a city where punk was in its infancy, unemployment was high, the weekly meetings of the Communist Party of Britain took place in the Bellman bookshop, a young Margaret Thatcher was just made Secretary of State for Education, and stand-up comedy was unheard of.

Less than a decade later Alexei was the first MC of London's only comedy club, the Comedy Store, and the landscape of British comedy had transformed. "The only completely new thing that I could bring 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."

From his years as a Chelsea Art School student, a DHSS office clerk, a textbook illustrator, a dinner lady and a drama teacher, to his early experiences in fringe theater and the discovery that he could make people laugh, Thatcher Stole My Trousers chronicles a time when comedy and politics came together in electrifying ways. Recounting the opening season of the Comedy Store, his time at the Alternative Cabaret, the Comic Strip and the Young Ones, and his friendships with the comedians who would soon become household names, this is a unique and beguiling blend of social history and memoir.

Fascinating, funny, angry and entertaining, it is a story of class and comedy, politics and love, Doc Martins and Tiswas.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408864531
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Born in Liverpool, the only child of Communist parents, Alexei Sayle became the first MC of the Comedy Store and later the Comic Strip. After years of stand-up, television, sitcoms, films and even a hit single, he published his first highly acclaimed collection of short stories. Barcelona Plates was followed by The Dog Catcher, two novels—Overtaken and The Weeping Women Hotel, and a novella, Mister Roberts. The first volume of Alexei's memoirs was Stalin Ate My Homework.

Table of Contents

Eric's Last Day 1

It's a Sort of… 10

A Long Way to Go for a Chocolate Bar 15

The War on Britain's Roads 19

It's Under the Hat when You're Ready 27

Cruel Shoes 30

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Finchley 32

The Way We Was 41

The Cut-price Dude of Liverpool 8 48

In the Bleak Midsummer 51

What Is this Place You've Brought Me to, Roger? 56

Mountain Wrongholdism 61

Wet Shed in Autumn Number 2 71

Molly Cooks a Chicken 79

The Bobo Comes to the Aid of the Resistance 83

Sympathy in Griffith House 87

Municipal House of Cards 95

The Calm Before the Calm 101

Boulevard of Broken Dreams 105

Day of the Two-wheeled Triffids 110

About Poor A.S. 115

Didn't Work for Mussolini, Did It? 122

What's He Doing Now!? 131

One Sprout or Two? 138

Your Drama Teacher Has Been Kidnapped 148

Gong! 163

This Comedy Life 178

Bit Windy… Went for a Swim 183

Thatcher Stole My Trousers 187

Been Great Working with You, Les 192

Looking the Part 196

Fuck, Cunt, Shit, Piss, Wank 199

Merry Christmas, Mr Sakamoto 213

The Secret Policeman's Career Opportunity 229

Boom Boom Out Goes Your Career 237

Comedians at Hanging Rock 253

Mrs Doonican Gets a Surprise 266

A Bag of Balloons and a Pencil 273

A Sunken Fence 284

A Blow to the Head in Helsinki 294

The Secret Life of 'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?' 303

The Workers United Will Frequently Be Defeated 310

A Life Told in Preserved Meat 318

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