Why I'm an e-mail addict; My Technology

For the comedian Al Murray, the computer offers a new way of communicat ion without any hassle

THE THING I love about e-mail is the fact that, on a purely simple basis, it has got me writing letters again. After being banished to a boarding school when I was a kid and soon discovering that writing three times a week to your mother had you entering the realm of sissy, I fell out of the habit. I have been feeling terrible about writing letters ever since. To get a thank-you letter from me was like getting blood out of a stone, yet they are so appreciated that you soon realise they just have to be done otherwise you will be sent to relative hell. So the advent of e-mail was miraculous.

I sternly resisted it for ages, being a bit like a vinyl junkie opposing the CD revolution. But I got it because I was having to write a television pilot and it was the best way of getting the draft scripts to my editor. He could then send it back corrected, and it was easier than sending a disk - you just fire it off and it's gone.

However, what it has ended up as is a great way of writing letters. And it's perfect for talking to busy people; everyone screens phone calls these days, but with e-mail you can screen and receive the message at the same time. And you can read it and know exactly what people want- it's not like ringing up and saying "Call me". Those are the practical reasons, but not why I love it so much.

It's better than the old letter because you can edit it, no more screwing Basildon Bond and throwing it in a bin. It's instant like the phone, but it doesn't matter where you are, whether you are in or out, it will get to you. Plus there are no embarrassing silences. I also believe that, in a general way, it has brought back the fact that people write to each other when we have got out of the habit. And with the added bonus of being able to send long strings of rubbish Clinton and Lewinsky jokes around the globe in the blink of an eye.

From personal experience, I have found e-mail is unsurpassed as a tool for conducting romance. You can get to know each other extremely well. The other good thing for all us worrying romantic hearts out there is that if a letter doesn't turn up you don't know, but with e-mail you can just send it again. I am not bothered what software I use. I have no great loyalty as they all seem to crash now and again and I am in no great hurry. Bar the prospect of it crashing without you having saved the memo, you can take your time and write it properly without having to start all over again. It has all the advantages of the word processor and none of the disadvantages of longhand.

Also, I think it is quite an intimate thing - after all, it is beamed straight into your desktop. You can have a reply to a letter, and keep in the same intimate time scale and thought pattern, almost as if having a conversation. It's perfect in these impatient times. You can tell them all in one go.

I got the e-mail specifically for a practical reason. By contrast, I think the Internet is rubbish and an enormous red herring. People are discovering Web sites from two years ago that have not been updated and a lot of the information is useless. I think it is a joke in that respect. And not a very good one.

Al Murray's `The Pub Landlord's Late Lock-In' is at The Improv Comedy Club, London, 24 and 31 October and 7 and 8 November. Box Office: 0171- 387 2414.

Interview by Jennifer Rodger

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week