Al Murray: I’ll turn myself in to the police before next gig in Scotland

Al Murray at The Pub Landlord
Murray said that he would not be able to switch characters now after two decades as his pub landlord's alter ego

The comedian Al Murray has suggested he could turn himself in to the police in anticipation of falling foul of Scotland’s new hate crime laws.

Murray, best known for his act featuring a politically incorrect pub landlord, fears the legislation could land him in trouble.

“This is a very interesting moment actually, that piece of legislation. To be honest, for comedians it is a wonderful opportunity to get yourself arrested and get written about. Or maybe next time I go to Scotland I should simply turn myself in,” he said.

The new legislation creates a crime of “stirring up hatred” concerning religion, transgender identity, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age.

Murray said that he would not be able to tone down his character now after two decades as his pub landlord’s alter ego.

“I am too far down the track with him. The one I maybe want to experiment with is being me, but I sort of would not know where to start,” he said.

Murray says the pub landlord now talks less about nationalism in his shows but he remains committed to National Service.

Al Murray
The Pub Landlord now talks less about nationalism in his shows but he remains committed to national service - Edd Westmacott / Alamy Stock Photo

“There is no sneering. But I do have a bit in the current show about national service because the pub landlord is all for it now that he is too old to have to do that for himself. They always get a murmur of approval,” he told Radio 4’s Loose Ends:

In 2022, Murray admitted that he felt sympathy for politicians after he stood for Parliament.

Murray, who campaigned for a seat at South Thanet in Kent in 2015, says that life in Parliament is a “rotten life”

He earned just 318 votes in the constituency, but came away shocked by how much voters appeared to want him to “screw up”.

Murray, who also faced conspiracy theorists alleging he defrauded voters, said he had no plans to repeat his run in politics.

“The strangest thing about that is that I came away quite sympathetic towards politicians, in a way I didn’t expect.

“At the time I was very much a plague on their houses. At the time [I was saying]: ‘They are all no good, duds and the ones that aren’t duds are corrupt.’

“I very much felt that. By the time we were done, I had some sympathy for the fact that all anyone wants from politicians is for them to fail.

“The central demand from the British public is that politicians fail and journalists are trying to catch them out.

“I came away thinking, that is a rotten life. That is a rotten situation to find yourself in.”