Sergeant Alfie Moore tells Rosy Moorhead why he's hung up his helmet to be a comedian

Alfie Moore

Alfie Moore

First published in Interviews by

After 18 years on the force, you’d expect a copper to have a lot of juicy stories. You wouldn’t, perhaps, expect him to put all those stories into a stand-up show and take it all over the country and on TV. Yet that’s exactly what Sergeant Alfie Moore of Humberside Police has done, and he’s bringing his unique brand of stand up to artsdepot in North Finchley.

“I first went to a live comedy club in 2007 and just had the most wonderful time,” says Alfie, from Scunthorpe, “I never stopped laughing. My wife saw the look in my eye and said, ‘You’re not thinking of trying this, are you?’ but it was too late – I was already planning my first gig. From the first time on stage I loved it – it felt like a calling.”

Taking a career break, Alfie has been working the comedy club scene for five years and in 2011 appeared on ITV’s Show Me The Funny, where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Jo Brand, Johnny Vegas and Jason Manford, and also on BBC3’s Bizarre Crimes. He has twice performed his show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has supported comedians Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and Milton Jones on their national tours.

Last year Alfie wrote a show called I Predict A Riot, based on his experiences as a riot officer, which he planned to perform at the Edinburgh Festival in the summer – an eerily prophetic title as last August saw some of the greatest disturbances of recent years, when violent riots broke out across England’s largest cities. Alfie couldn’t turn down the overtime and so the show didn’t make it to Edinburgh, but he rewrote it to incorporate the 2011 riots.

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I Predicted A Riot takes a humorous look at riots and protests throughout history, including the Nika Riot of 532AD, the largest recorded in history, which saw half of Constantinople razed and 30,000 Roman citizens killed. It also covers the main causes of protests and riots – the economy, oppressed minority groups, race and religion, all mixed with anecdotes of Alfie’s own experiences, including the Bradford race riots of 2001.

The show reveals everything from the mundane to the macabre to the bizarre, be it the time he encountered a severed head but by law he wasn’t allowed to pronounce it dead, or the nonsensical realities of working in a squad tied up and hen-pecked by bureaucracy.

"My organisation has been very supportive,” he says. “I’ve performed at several formal police functions and met some chief constables in the process. Yes, sometimes I take the mickey out of the organisation but always with a twinkle in my eye, and never in a way that would undermine public confidence or bring the force into disrepute. Why would I? I love being a cop and they’ve given me a great career for 18 years – not to mention some cracking stories!”

Alfie Moore: I Predicted A Riot is at artsdepot, Tally Ho Corner, Nether Street on Friday, May 18 at 8pm. Details: 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk

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