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Three cheers for the Pub Landlord!

MEDIA WALES profiles Al Murray before his eagerly anticipated return to St David's Hall on October 5.

BORN: Some time in 1968, on the stairs by where they keep the crisps. The Landlord's father then held a lock-in that broke the British and Commonwealth Land Lock-In Record with a 77-hour lock-in, a record that remains uncontested, though there is a bar in Bendigo, Vic, Australia, that claims to have stayed open for 78 hours. But the validity of this lock-in is disputed as the staff were all unconscious, and because the licensing laws aren't as strict in Australia.

His mother, Dorothy, is vague about the Guvnor's birthday, partly due to the lock-in, partly due to the fact she doesn't care, but she knows that it was before they put that bloke on the moon, and after the Beatles went off the boil.

HEIGHT: 6ft 3ins. Says the Guvnor: "That's right, I measure my height in feet and inches, but will they arrest me and make me a metric martyr? Come on Brussels, I'll see you in court!" FORMATIVE YEARS: For the first four years of his life, the Guvnor played by the roaring blue gas fire in the snug bar, crawling around the floor between the legs of the bar stools, with a whippet and a greyhound, Princess and Lightning, and on occasion was heard to call the dogs Mummy and Daddy. To this day he finds it hard not to roll around on the carpet with his legs in the air, when someone tickles his tummy.

FAVOURITE COLOUR: Red, white and blue. But only if arranged in a complicated series of crosses and diagonals, not in three stripes, like on the French flag.

FIRST LOVE: Lager. He flirted with bitter, but came back to the gold stuff after months of gastric complications. Beer is the reason many of us are here, he says.

EDUCATION: At 11, the Guvnor gained a scholarship to Landlord Academy, for his seven-year training as a publican. He majored in Crisp-Flow, and worked on the team that specified the recipe for the perfect Ploughmans lunch. No one pours a pint like an Academy man, you can see it in the way he tilts the glass.

FAMILY: The Landlord's father died when he was 45, his allotted two score years and five complete, a lifetime of pints poured, Ploughmen lunched. Wife divorced then tracked down to Italy living with Hans, the Guvnor of Die Achtung Spitfeur, a pub in Berlin. Has since left Hans: whereabouts unknown.

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The Pub Landlord, Al Murray
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 17, 2010
Words:427
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