Tall, sleek and unconventionally handsome, Alex Riley is not from Wigan. A naturally funny and highly individual presenter/performer, Alex has an exceptional talent for improvisation on both television and radio. Born and brought up in Sheffield, UK – Alex was a member of the Crucible Youth Theatre for several years, devising and appearing in dozens of sketches and devised pieces. He also appeared in a number of plays and farces at Sheffield’s Library Theatre.
Following a succession of jobs including manager of an alternative shopping centre, aerial photograph salesman and car counter, he secured a ride on the Euro Gravy Train as a funding quangocrat. Answering an on-air appeal for researchers on BBC Top Gear, life-long car enthusiast Alex gave up the excitement of the public sector to work on his favourite programme.
At Top Gear he wrote scripts for the presenters and made the first of many cameo appearances, before being given the chance to present his own items. These included a 9-hour odyssey from London to Brighton on the World’s oldest vehicle; building a car from junk bought at Europe’s largest auto jumble sale and appearing as Elvis in front of a tough crowd at Britain’s number one American lifestyle festival.
From there he went on to write and perform sketches for the Chelsea Flower Show and Britain in Bloom specials on BBC1; appear as a bed-hopping bigamist in a prime time BBC1 documentary Bigamy and write and present Short Circuits a witty and innovative ten part series for Discovery Home and Leisure which combined the excitement of a Scalextric racing competition with tips on making realistic scenery out of chicken wire.
Alex’s recent work includes two series of Boys Toys, an action-packed entertainment series (ITV1 Westcountry), the highly successful Caravan Show (Discovery Real Time); the tongue-in-cheek active sports and gadget series You Know You Want To (ITV1 Westcountry) and following the purchase of a Triumph TR7,Classic Car Club (Discovery Real Time). He is currently filming a brand new ten part series for Discovery – The Real Deal – in which he learns how to become a professional dealer in 20th century art and antiques, learning the ropes from a streetwise expert on a road trip around Europe.
On radio, he is the writer and voice of BBC 7’s Comedy Club, a five nights a week compilation show which played a significant part in the network achieving the Sony Gold Award for Station Sound.
Alex has also recently begun writing and performing stand up comedy.