Page 3 Profile: Alexander Armstrong, comedian


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The Independent Online

What-ho! Someone giving Armstrong a rough time?

The comedian yesterday spoke out against “posh-bashing”. No giggling at the back, this is a serious issue. Discrimination is discrimination and poor Armstrong has had so much of it, it’s really rather starting to bore him: “Why should your background be held against you? It is so short sighted. There are plenty of reasons for disliking people, but this tribal aversion to anyone with a posh voice is very boring.”

Poor chap. Why doesn’t everyone just naff off and leave him be?

Too right. It’s like you’re sitting out on the terrace, sipping a G&T after a long day perusing the FT, keeping the servants in check, and making sure that the blasted gate in the back field is shut, when you hear a noise. Foosteps! It’s those ramblers again.

Not sure I follow..?

Well, like the old boy says, posh-bashing is all about attacking people for things that are out of their control. He can’t help it that he’s able to trace his lineage back to William the Conqueror, that he went up to Cambridge, joined Footlights and lives in a ‘lovely’ 1612 vicarage in Oxfordshire, just over from Chipping Norton. Nor can he help that he’s an active supporter of the Countryside Alliance, appearing in adverts to promote shooting, or that he has ‘personal connections’ with a certain Gideon Oliver Osborne. Just as you can’t do a bloody thing about the village riff-raff and jolly weekenders laying claim to their right of way.

And it’s not as if he keeps going on about all this.

Well… there were those Pimm’s ads. You know, the ones with Armstrong playing a daft toff, completely out of touch with the common folk – mistaking a prison for a holiday camp, a rave for a wedding and a group of protesters for some like-minded public school chaps. And then there’s his production company, formed with comedy partner Ben Miller, called, uh, Toff Media.

So he’s allowed to go on about being posh… but us common folk aren’t?

Much like cricket, the rules of posh-bashing are a trifle opaque. Probably best you leave it to Armstrong and his chums to worry about. Now get back to work.