IT was a distinctly low key return for comedian Alexei Sayle.

Staying as far under the radar as possible, he has just spent a week at this holiday home in the Lecrin Valley, near Granada, for the first time in three years.

“It is nice to be back and we are now planning to return much more often,” he told the Olive Press, over tea at a local cafe/shop The Camel Stop.

Shopping for furniture and a few ornaments for their home, he and his wife Linda were enjoying the laid back lifestyle and weather.

In many ways it is a convenient amount of time away, with the dust now largely settled on a book he based on the local expat community in 2008.

The novel Mister Roberts detailed the ‘rivalries, pretensions, habits and hierarchies’ of the group, and how they are thrown into turmoil when a pair of aliens crash-land in the hills.

Said to have been based on various local characters, it understandably caused a fair amount of rancour in the charming Lecrin Valley area at the time.

But, after a long absence the local community were rallying around their Scouse celebrity last week.

“It is good to have him back and although he is a bit grumpy at times, he brings a bit of colour,” said one.

Starting life as compere at seminal London club the Comedy Store in the 70s, the Marxist comedian has now gone full circle, recently starting a series of small, low key shows.

“The last time I did it was 17 years ago in Australia playing to thousands of people, so it is funny to be back playing to 150 in Soho,” he continued.

There are now rumours of a show at a friend’s hotel in Granada.

He bought the house over a decade ago, after falling in love with the area’s landscape and Moorish influence.

Any changes over the years? “Well there has certainly been a lot of construction,” he added dryly.

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