Alex Brooker is an English journalist and presenter, best known for his television work with Channel 4. Brooker has co-hosted The Last Leg, a Channel 4 panel show with Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe since 2012, as well as co-presenting Channel 4 ski jumping show The Jump with Davina McCall in 2014.
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I'm off now. Thanks so much for all your questions, you've been great! Don't forget to watch Scope's comedy shorts and find out how to #EndTheAwkward.
My short bio:
I'm Alex Brooker.
You might know me from Channel 4's Friday night topical comedy show The Last Leg.
I have hand and arm disabilities and a prosthetic leg which I use for material on literally every show I do - so I thought it would be a good idea to team up with disability charity Scope and Channel 4 to make six short comedy films on awkwardness about disability.
Ask me anything! I’ll be back to answer your top questions at 12.30.
My Proof: See my tweet!
Is it ok that when you were talking about wank socks on Friday that I spent far too long wondering if you experience difficulties masturbating?
Love the show. You should be very proud that you made John Cleese almost piss his pants laughing.
I didn't expect to cover this subject on here haha! Yeah I had a few tweets but put it this way - I have wide enough grip for the bottom of a bottle of beer and I'm not packing that sort of heat so I'm doing ok!
And yeah John loved my ISIS joke. I would say it's one of my highlights in this business to have made him laugh so much.
Hi Alex, big fan of you and the show.
Just wondering how did the show begin behind the scenes? How did Josh, Adam and yourself end up coming together?
Nice username. I was on the Paralympics to be a football reporter and only on the first Last Leg show to establish who I was because I was going to be reporting for them throughout the week. I did the first five minutes on the sofa with Adam, then Josh replaced me. The next day we were all put together from the start and we've been lucky enough to carry on doing the show.
Do you think Josh ever feels left out because he has all his limbs?
Haha I'm sure he doesnt!
i'm coming to see the Last Leg from 'oop North on the 4th September.
Fancy a Nandos?
There's one right round the corner from the studios. See you there.
Hey Alex thanks for doing the Ama. Who was your most memorable guest and why was it Carrie Fisher?
Hahaha. Carrie Fisher was brilliant. It was live and I found myself in a situation where Carrie Fisher is giving me a cuddle and I just had no idea what to do!
You and the Last Leg team did an amazing job in "normalising" (for lack a better word) disabilities. I think it really helped change peoples perspective on the subject! So, on that sort of subject, will the last leg be featured in Rio?
Additionally, what are your plans for the rest of the summer?
I hope we go to Rio! We have moved on so much as a show now and we have improved so to go and do a Paralympic show again would be brilliant. I really believe we can make some great shows out there. Plus I want to go to Brazil!
Last Leg will be taking up my time until the start of September and then I will see what other projects come up. Failing that just sit at home and play FIFA all day.
Hi Alex, love the Last Leg I really believe it's the best show on TV at the minute! Has there ever been a comment or joke you've made on the show you really wished you hadn't? Planned or unplanned.
Thankyou! There's not many I've really regretted. I made one about the Royal Family and Princess Diana during the election shows which was a bit close to the bone but I just about got away with. On Friday I did one about a voting sock while talking about porn being found on parliamentary computers - which was a bit minging really. But you should see the stuff I decide not to say!!
Hi Alex, thanks for doing this AMA, big fan of the Last Leg and have attended a couple of recordings already.
How often do people ask you "Do you need a hand?" and is it particularly awkward?
Also, are you braced for the feedback from Adam's rant about Jeremy ~~Cunt~~ Hunt?
The recordings are good fun aren't they. I love doing a live show every week. Haha I've been introduced on stage with someone asking the audience to give me a big hand and didn't realise the connotation of what they'd said. Made for a good line for stand-up though! The rant on Hunt was brilliant. I just hope he starts to give the NHS the respect it deserves.
Why did you want to get involved in Scope's campaign? Has anything super awkward ever happened to you?
I wanted to get involved because it's approaching a serious subject through humour - which is something I believe in. And because it isn't preachy or intended to shame people. Loads of awkward stuff has happened to me. I've kicked my leg off the back of a pedalo, been put in a canoe in a swimming lesson because it was assumed I couldn't swim and had numerous awkward hand shakes!
Hey Alex, huge fan of The Last Leg - it is the best of British political satire!
Who are your inspirations in regards to satire/telly/comedy?
Thankyou. I'm glad you like the show. In terms of telly - I loved Gavin and Stacey and League of Their Own so James Corden. In comedy, obviously Hills and Josh but I also love people like Micky Flanagan, Lee Mack. My favourite comedian is probably Frankie Boyle.
Who would be your favourite person to have as a guest on The Last Leg that hasn't already been on?
I would love to get Thierry Henry on because he's my hero. Or Justin Timberlake. I like it when we get big name actors on too.
Hey Alex, How was your school life? Being disabled I can imagine that it was tough, did it drive you towards comedy?
I was very lucky at school and didn't get bullied really. I had good mates all the way through who looked after me. To be honest with you I get more crap off bellends on Twitter than I ever did in school. Just a shame these people hide behind a keyboard.
Is there anywhere I can buy the bullshit button? What was your favourite end of show sketch?
I really enjoyed the sketch we did with Daniel Radcliffe. I don't know where you can buy the bullshit button. I wish I had got some on the market myself!
Thanks for doing an AMA! Which episode of the last leg was your most favourite to film and why?
I would say that last week's with John Cleese was up there with my favourites. It was so chaotic and he was brilliant. Then other than that the ones with Nick Clegg because of the interview and Russell Crowe because I got to do a sketch with him. My favourite is the first ever one at the Paralympics because that five minutes on the sofa I did was the start of something which has changed my life completely.
Sup Alex, love The Last Leg. How do you genuinely think Arsenal are going to get on this year in both the league and Europe? And how big of a role do you think the addition of Cech will have in any likely success?
I think we have a really good chance in the league if we can keep everyone fit and if Wenger brings in another player before the transfer window closes. I'd like to see us get another striker but I think we also need another powerful midfielder because if Coquelin gets injured we don't have similar cover. Arteta isn't mobile enough and then you look at Ramsey, Wilshere and Cazorla who are all great players in the middle but more attacking minded. I think Cech is an excellent signing. It's about time we had a top goalkeeper - it's been a long time coming.
Thanks for doing an AMA, have always enjoyed you on TV on stuff like Buzzcocks and 8oo10Cats, and 'the last leg' is great.
Can you please, once and for all, clear up a common misconception that I'm always arguing with my friend about:
Are you, or are you not, in any way related to Charlie Brooker?
I am in no way related to Charlie Brooker. I'd like to be as successful as him one day though!
I only found out today that you went to Knatchbull and that you were originally from Ashford! I went to NKS also and was wondering who influenced your career path and also how easy was it for you to become a journalist and escape the Ashford environment?
Currently, I am a 21-year-old University of Kent student who wants to pursue a career in journalism!
Hi. I always wanted to be a football journalist from when I was 11. I just wanted to be paid to watch football. I liked some of the national journalists but when I went into the industry I quickly realised that there's a fair few of them that are complete tossers. I've seen more arrogance in a press room at a football club than I have in the whole of television.
But don't let that put you off journalism. It's such a great industry. I ended up moving from Ashford to go to university in Liverpool because my friend's family were from there and they just made me love the place before I'd even visited. Best decision I've ever made.
I can't believe they have girls at NKS now. Mental.
Love the show - you three have a seriously awesome dynamic.
How did it start that Josh always gets "the pride of Dartmoor" and you get a brand new new (and usually hilarious) intro insult?
Ah thankyou. I really love doing it. Josh has had that intro right from the Paralympics. Until Dartmoor has someone to be more proud of he deserves it. And I just do ridiculous stuff every week which is a gift for Adam!
Hi Alex, have you ever been awkward around a disabled person yourself? If so, what happened?
I've had it before when I've been talking to someone with cerebral palsy who had speech difficulties and I had to really concentrate to understand. I realised that my concentrating face just looked really odd. That was awkward.
Hi Alex, Thanks for the AMA and your work with Scope - the ads are excellent. It seems like there is currently real momentum in the media to cast people with different disabilities in different roles, acting and performing, and not just where the disability is a feature. It's a great development and something the Last Leg played a big part in. Obviously disabled people are still under-represented on TV, do you think there are still any areas of the media where disabled actors/performers still don't get considered at all? What can we do about it?
I think there should be more disabled performers everywhere. It's funny you mention this because comedy acting is something I really want to get in but can't help but feel I wont get cast in anything unless it's a role that has to mention disability. It's frustrating.
You fancy a cheeky nandos?
Haha I've had a couple of ropey ones recently which has put me off it!
Hey Alex, thanks for doing this! I'm a huge fan.
Have you ever experienced an awkward moment while recording The Last Leg? Something that you knew would be controversial, or just awkward in general?
I felt a bit awkward during the Nick Clegg interview because I was giving him a hard time but in all honesty, I really liked the bloke. So that was difficult and when I came off set I felt like I had been unfair on him. We did a sketch with Daniel Radcliffe and when I met him for the first time I was dressed as Hermione. That was ridiculous: "Hi mate, I'm a huge fan - sorry I'm dressed as a schoolgirl."
Which Channel 4 short film do you think is best/most cringe/gets the point across best?
I think the hairdresser one is the most cringey but my favourite is the job interview because I think the actress in it, Fran, is just so good - as is the manager.
Everyone can do a Josh Widdicombe impression. How's yours?
I did one in the final sketch from last Friday's show. I'd say it was average.
What's the dumbest thing someone has ever asked you about living with your disability?
Somebody once asked if an animal made my hands like they were - which is ridiculous!
Hi Alex, I love the last leg - and those ads are proper cringe. Which bit made you made your toes curl the most?
In the nail bar when she starts talking about the Paralympics is pretty cringey. Then more of the hairdresser one made my single set of toes curl.
Big fan of show, hook me up with some tickets bro... ;)
When are you going to overthrow Adam Hills and run the show with Josh Widdicombe?
I've plenty of idea's on how to take him out if you need some advice.
Haha I have no immediate plans to stage a coup. Plus I couldn't do Hills' job - it's too much hard work!
What was it like working on "The Jump"? And how pissed did you get?
I liked the people who I worked with on that show. I have contrasting opinions on the role I actually did on there.
Have you had a guest on the show that has been genuinely offended?
How cheeky does a Nandos have to be before it is proper cheeky?
Thankfully we haven't really offended a guest so far - which is good news! Haha I'm not sure any Nandos is really that cheeky. I certainly don't feel cheeky when I'm on the toilet because I've struggled with the extra hot.