Chris Beetles Gallery is pleased to now represent the original artwork for the Daily Telegraph's daily Alex strip, by Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor. We launch this new relationship with an extensive selling exhibition of Alex cartoons.
The exhibition will run from 7 - 19 February 2022. Further information about the show will be released on Tuesday 25 January.
For more information about the Alex strip, history, creators, characters and much more, visit the Alex website: https://www.alexcartoon.com/
Russell Taylor was born in York in 1960. He read Russian at St Anne’s College, Oxford. His first book, co-authored with Marc Polonsky, was “USSR – From an Original Idea by Karl Marx” (Faber 1986) - a humorous guide to the Soviet Union, which earned him what is still the most vituperative review of his career (in Pravda).
Russell met cartoonist Charles Peattie at a Christmas party in 1986 for the magazine Direction on which they both worked.
Their first Alex cartoon strip appeared on February 23rd 1987 in the short-lived London Daily News. When that paper folded five months later Alex transferred to the Independent. In January 1992 he treacherously defected to the Daily Telegraph where he has resided ever since. Alex also appears in newspapers abroad and is particularly popular in Australia and, perhaps surprisingly, in Germany (who says they don’t have a sense of humour?).
After a brief midlife crisis in the late 90s Russell ran the New York Marathon and wrote a book of his experiences “The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner” (Andre Deutsch 2001). In 2002 he and Charles were appointed MBE for services to the newspaper industry.
In 2007 Charles and Russell wrote and produced a successful stage play based on Alex, starring Robert Bathurst, which was performed at the Arts Theatre in London. The play toured the world and returned to the West End in 2008.
In 2010 Russell and Charles wrote a ten week drive time show for Classic FM, which was hosted by Alex (aka Robert Bathurst) and shocked and scandalised the station's listenership (many of whom seemingly believed that Alex was a real banker).
Russell moonlights by writing film and TV music (in collaboration with Steve Cooke). Their programmes, mainly very depressing documentaries, have won seven Emmies, seven BAFTAs, an Amnesty International Award and a Prix Italia.
Russell is married to taxidermist, author and promoter Suzette Field. They live in North London with their daughter.
Charles Peattie was born in 1958. He was educated at Great Walstead Prep School and Charterhouse Public School before studying painting at St Martin’s School of Art. After leaving St Martin’s, Charles began working as a painter of society portraits, but gave up painting professionally in 1985. By this time, he had been submitting gag cartoons to Private Eye for a few years and in 1985 he had begun the cartoon strip ‘Dick’ with writer Mark Warren in the music magazine, Melody Maker.
After meeting Russell Taylor in 1986, the pair published the first ‘Alex’ strip in The Daily London News in February 1987. In May of the same year, he began drawing the ‘Celeb’ strip for Private Eye. Charles would also write the script for the BBC One sitcom series based on the ‘Celeb’ strip. The show starred Harry Enfield and Amanda Holden and aired in 2002. In 1999, Charles Peattie would collaborate with Mark Warren on the Grenada television comedy drama ‘Passion Killers’, starring Ben Miller and Georgia McKenzie. He also wrote sketches for three seasons of the television sketch show ‘Lenny Henry in Pieces’, which ran between 1998 and 2001.
In 2007 Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor wrote and produced a successful stage play based on Alex, starring Robert Bathurst, which was performed at the Arts Theatre in London. The play toured to Australia and Hong Kong and returned to the West End for a run at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2008.
In 2009, Charles produced a series of animated shows designed for telephones, including an animated Alex strip commemorating the Financial Crisis. In 2012, he wrote and drew the Alex Christmas story ‘It’s a Wonderful Crisis’, which ran over the Christmas period in The Daily Telegraph.
In 2014-2015, Charles created animated scenes for the backdrop of a stage adaptation of Christopher Reid’s ‘The Song of Lunch’, which ran at The Minerva Theatre in Chichester, starring Robert Bathurst.
Charles married his first wife in 1988 and married again in 2005. He has two daughters from his first marriage and two sons from his second. He became a grandfather for the first time in 2014.