A comedian who grew up in Romford said his upbringing continues to inspire many of the viral skits he creates today.
Alistair Green, who grew up just off Main Road in the direction of Gallows Corner, says he thinks Romford is a “good” and “fun place” to spend his childhood.
Known for their satirical content on social media, Alistair’s popular skits have been retweeted by many stars, including Ricky Gervais.
Reflecting on his upbringing, he said: “London was another place to grow up. Although now if you tell people that you grew up in Romford, they would say you grew up in London, because it’s a borough of London I guess, but I never thought of it like that.
“He’s always had this kind of duality where he doesn’t want to be a borough of London.”
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Leaving Romford in his early twenties and now living in Deptford, the 44-year-old says growing up in Romford “definitely” inspires much of his content today.
“A lot of what I do is people from the suburbs, an ordinary character.
“I still think most people are from the suburbs in a certain sense, England is a very suburban place, from a mentality point of view, we are the suburbs of the world, chatting on the fringes.
“Many of those [sketches] of me making a character just heard or saw something or will have a memory of growing up in Romford.
“I will remember something someone said and it will stay in my subconscious and it will become an idea.”
Addressing the uniqueness of his sketches, he says the “realism” of many of them is what stands out.
“I try not to make crude jokes and I try to make the characters very plausible; these are not caricatures. It doesn’t interest me and I try not to make political remarks.
“It’s more important to me that the characters are very real.
“The ones where it’s one person talking in one take – that’s another thing I do differently. It’s a perceived conversation with another person in the room, sometimes a lot more.
Growing up, Alistair enjoyed watching French and Saunders created by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, whom he thought were the “funniest people in the world”.
Highlighting a work by him that is unlike anything else, Alistair described the skit titled Spooky Story which features a song with a character called Night Goblin.
“It’s a demonic fairy tale about a night goblin, I don’t really know what it is,” he said.
Working from his simple white room, Alistair says he wants the viewer to forget about his naked surroundings.
He said: “I try to convey a very distinct sense of place and character. The idea is if you watch it you forget about the fact that I’m a man in a room on an iPhone.
“I sowed the idea of place. If it takes place in a garden, a character will say “they said it won’t be hot today”. I want a very distinctive place – the idea is that it’s a stand-alone scene, a short story in a two-minute play.
Having already conquered the use of social media to disseminate his work the year before the lockdown, Alistair says he already had “wind” behind him and was able to “grow exponentially” like no one else did.
During confinement in 2019, Alistair had already sold a cinema showing the films he had made on his iPhone.
However, confinement was not an experience he enjoyed: “I had a similar experience to most of the original novelty folks in March 2020, ‘six weeks you say, no problem’, you thought about the worse than I would get on board at Christmas! ”
Offering advice to others, Alistair says to try to “do something right”, even if he remains “skeptical” of some of his sketches that do “really well”, like Matt Hancock, because “it is not interesting and a confirmation bias ”.
He adds, “This is all for my own satisfaction, I make sure to cultivate the right kind of people. ”