16 Apr, 2009 @ 11:36
1 min read

Aliens and expats in Alexei’s latest book


COMEDIAN Alexei Sayle has based his new book on British expatriates living in southern Spain.

The writer, who made his name as the landlord in 1980s hit comedy The Young Ones, highlights the rivalries and hierarchies among a group living in a fictional valley, near to where he has a home in Granada.

The comedian turned author owns a property in the Lecrin Valley and is a regular visitor to the country.

In the book Mister Roberts an imperial cruiser of the Galactic Empire crash lands into the valley.

The action is based around a suit from the spaceship found by a lonely 13 year-old boy.

He claims his characters are based on people he has come into contact with in Spain, but also on his own strange habits which he puts on to the page.

“It’s a fictional valley in Spain and has turned up in other short stories before including Dog Catcher,” he explained.

“I have always liked Spain more than France and Italy. I like people who like Spain! There’s a certain person drawn to Spain, Brits that live here are diverse, they aren’t affected and what they are drawn to is Spanish culture.

“Life is lived in Technicolor, not like the rest of Europe.”


  1. I guess by his words “living in Technicolor” Mr Sayle feels that life in Spain is more exciting than living anywhere else in Europe.

    For hundreds of Brits waiting with bated breath to find out whether or not their properties are to be declared legal or not…..it’s simply thrilling.

  2. Life in Spain is colorful and fun. The only required attachment to live such thrilling life is of course to be loaded with money. If you depend on an average Spanish wage the colors quickly fade and you have to struggle along. And don´t expect any help from official institutions. They are too busy with there own day to day corruption and ripping off businesses. And if for one month you can´t manage to pay e.g. your telephone bill there´s no negotiation and you´ll be cut off and next thing you know it´s a lawyers letter. Never seen such behavior in other European countries. Especially as e.g. the Telefonica is the biggest thief in the country. But of course, back to our cave man roots and manners is quite colorful too.

  3. I agree with Alexei, Spain has freedom, and with it comes some bad stuff too. But a lot of expats have incredible expectations, and think that dabbling in watercolours or writing a bad novel (I’m sure Mr Sayle’s will be a cut above) will make them money while sipping sangria in a land where life is also hard, like everywhere else. The difference is that the sun shines and its in the local culture not to constantly complain. Maybe that is why the brits are so easily fooled…

    Once you learn how to deal with those ‘scary’ lawyers’ letters, and do your research before buying that ‘incredible’ investment, life in Spain can have that quality that so many rave about.

  4. How do you deal with those “scary” lawyers’ letters, Hannah? Do tell us won’t you?

    Alexei and Hannah share a lot in common. Not knowing anything about the reality of Spain, for example.

  5. Well, Fred. I was born in Spain, I now live here again, run a business and have a Spanish mother, so I do know a bit about ‘the reality of Spain’. I am surprised how quickly you make assumptions, which is my point of brits over here.

    The main point is to get used to a more corrupt, in your face culture… the lack of manners, legal threats etc, once you accept the ‘bad’ sides, try and enjoy the good stuff, and shrug off problems like the locals do. This is not the UK in the sun, Why not try France / Italy / Greece / Morrocco? You will find corruption and moany brits everywhere. Alexei Sayle states something positive in this generally negative publication, and everybody jumps to bite his head off.

    Once you adapt, dealing with lawyers letters will become second nature.

  6. I didn’t make an assumption, I made an opinion, and I still say you are not speaking realistically. I mean, what does this gobledegook mean: “once you adapt, dealing with lawyers letters will become second nature” – lets pass that to SOHA and see if it helps them legalise all their homes for starters. Er, right.

    No brits were easily fooled Hannah. They investigated, researched and moved here, paid their taxes on their ‘incredible investment’ (I assume you mean a house primarily?) and actually did more than most Spaniards do to be legal, and then were rewarded with fines and lies and corruption from lawyers and local authorities and were generally ripped off.

    You must live in a different parallel universe of Spain Hannah lol.

  7. You ‘made’ an opinion, uhmm, like a cake. But I am afraid, that was an assumption, and you have just made a couple more amazing ones. I ‘assume’ you know all the brits that have bought houses in Spain. And know what most Spaniards do when buying as well! Wow.

    My statement means, my dear, that once you have dealt with the local lawyer threats more than once, you do LEARN how to deal with them more efficiently and with less fear, and how to avoid future problems. And that is all I am going to teach you on that one.

    And my dear Fred, did you know? Costa del Crime was a name given before the Marbella scandal, due to the type of lovely expats. ‘Make’ an opinion on that. But according to you brits are all so innocent….

    Oh well, I am off work today, and was finding this silly banter amusing. But you are right, my reality is very different to yours, thank god! You have too much of a bad attitude, good luck with it. Over and out.

  8. Hannah you are getting very flustered dear. I like your expression “you brits” which is a feeble attempt to somehow denegrate Brits as a breed who can be blamed as the problem makers in Spain. Far from it.

    Your country joined the EU; British expats have as much right as you to live and work here. We pay our taxes and support the economy, indeed much of southern Spain would not have a economy without expats. The vast majority of expats are well behaved people who have come to live and bring up a family. What they invariably experience is endemic corruption and pedantic red tape – Spain invented it; it was your country who overbuilt the Costas, your country that flouted the rules, your country that has a mad legal system where a person cannot know if they legally own their house or not! How mad is that. Get educated, dear.

  9. Great to see that the art of completely irrelevant whinging is alive and well beyond the British shores. Can you all kindly go away and seeth offline – even skim reading this collection of “cockments” (that’s comments made by cocks, yeah)made me want to beat myself to death with a leg of aged ham.

  10. Hannah – you are a great advert for spain, classic arrogance, foreigners are to blame (you don´t count as a foreigner with a spanish mother) no concept of good communication, making excuses and even suggesting people learn to live with and accept corruption, a defunct legal system that is a licence to rip people off, and a phone company that behaves like thugs in the street and no fear of competition as THEY make it so diffcult to usean alternative provider, another illegal tactic that is accepted by this sorry excuse of an democracy.

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