Al Murray (byoootiful British name) must be pinching himself, or at least allowing for a celebratory nip or two: over the 18 years since he first slipped on the burgundy blazer, his Pub Landlord character – like the tacky-carpeted, deeply circumscribed boozers he worships – has become a bona fide British institution.
So what's the draw? Well, amid the pretty familiar stand-up terrain (men and women, drinking – natch) and the suspicion that perhaps his cod-Alf Garnett shtick is wearing just a little bit thin, Murray remains a champion rabble-rouser – and the best of his material packs a sharpness that makes you think his glass is still charged with a drop of the satirical brew that made the name of his ancestor William Makepeace Thackeray.
And what with the Jubilee, the Olympics and an England win in the Euros (surely), there'll be a good deal for him to thrust his jingoistic chest out about in his latest show, The Only Way is Epic.
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