Al is a hugely popular comedian possibly best known for playing his alter-ego character, The Pub Landlord. He attended Bedford School and is a graduate of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he studied modern history. There he performed in the comedy group, the Oxford Revue in a show directed by Stewart Lee.
Al Murray started out with an act that involved sound-effect impressions, including impressions of guns, animals and a particularly impressive car boot.
Murray has toured with other comedians including Harry Hill and Frank Skinner. He won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1999, after being nominated in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Al’s character and alterego, the Pub Landlord, is very different from his real life public-school and Oxbridge background and first appeared in 1994 when Murray was the tour support act for Harry Hill. At that time part of a comedy band called The Pub Band International in which he played the drums, they were looking for a link to Hill’s act. After trying out a character which they decided didn’t work, on the eve of performing at the Edinburgh Festival, Murray created the Pub Landlord.
Murray then made his first television appearances on Hill’s TV show playing his big brother Alan, 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 a Laurence Olivier Award in 2002, and he has also appeared in character as the central focus of the television series Time Gentlemen Please.
In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. A year later, he 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.
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.
In 2007 he was voted the 16th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 25th greatest stand-up comic.
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.
Murray is the Patron of The Cambodian Children’s Charity which is a development and relief charity for children in Cambodia.
In May 2011, Murray began hosting a new quiz show, Compete for the Meat on the UKTV channel Dave. Also in 2011, he became the host of the BBC Radio 5 Live show 7 Day Sunday in March 2011, taking over from Chris Addison.
Al Murray is one of the country’s most-popular comedians. A great character to head a variety of endorsement campaigns.