Keith Allen responds to Lily Allen’s claim he ‘couldn’t channel his comedic gifts into a career’

Keith Allen responds to Lily Allen’s claim he ‘couldn’t channel his comedic gifts into a career’
·2 min read

Keith Allen has responded to his daughter Lily Allen’s claim that he was unable to turn his comedic talent into a successful career.

The actor and the singer have had a strained relationship over the years, with Lily discussing her estrangement from him last summer.

In a new interview in The Guardian, Keith reacted to Lily’s comments from her 2018 memoir My Thoughts Exactly, in which she wrote that he is a “self-saboteur” who “couldn’t channel his comedic gifts into a proper career”.

“That’s true, yeah,” he said. “I couldn’t channel anything. You could say I wasted a lot of years. You could also say I had a f***ing great time.

“I was in at the beginning for a lot of things. I presented one of the first ‘yoof TV’ shows. I was one of the first performers at the Comedy Store.”

The highlights of Keith’s comedy career include alternative comedy series The Comic Strip Presents..., which he wrote some episodes of and starred in alongside Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall and Robbie Coltrane.

He also co-wrote the Fat Les singalong “Vindaloo” and had a chaotic stint in stand-up. “I saw myself becoming a David Niven figure. A national treasure. But I couldn’t commit. You have to focus, and I didn’t do that,” he said.

Lily Allen (Getty)
Lily Allen (Getty)

In My Thoughts Exactly, Allen also claimed that Keith had had a cocaine-related heart attack at Glastonbury Festival in 1998 when she was 14. She later said this admission made her father “quite cross” and that he claimed it was actually due to acute food poisoning.

Several years before that, in 2015, Allen tweeted: “My dad walked out on me when I was four, I’m sick of this. My dad was at Latitude when I headlined and didn’t even come to see me. I’ve probably spent more time walking my dogs than I have with my dad my entire life.”

Keith can next be seen in the Nineties-set play Rehab, showing at the Playground theatre, London, from 1 to 17 September.