Who is Alex Belfield? (a self obsessed tyrant)

A simple question. Whose wellbeing has given you more cause for concern over the past few weeks?

North Korean despot Kim Jong-Un? Or wrong un Alex ‘Celebrity Radio’ Belfield.

Right, Kim, obviously.

The most significant development in recent weeks of this sprawling saga about a maniacal former BBC Radio Leeds presenter with a questionable fashion sense broadcasting regularly from his kitchen in Nottingham.

One day the revenue generated from clicks was paying his mortgage the next his operation was a registered charity.

Last week, having *almost* run out of people to offend, patronise, and revolt in Theatreland it was time for Belfield to pretend that he had quit, he headed for the hills (his mum’s house) and uploaded a video to his YouTube channel saying goodbye. Long story short, he couldn’t take it anymore and was closing ‘Celebrity Radio’ due to trolls blah blah blah.

Except he was not really.

This was Belfield at his level worst. Because within 24 hours he amended the absurd video to tell us all that it was all a ‘prank that we’ve been doing for 20 years’, and that he would be back on Friday to ‘out the pile-on trolls one by one.’

In case you are struggling to care or follow this, Alex Belfield is the self-proclaimed #1 reviewer of theatre in the United Kingdom and Las Vegas.

In Belfield’s crass world everyone is a troll and he is the victim of a hate campaign from…. Well, literally everybody else.

This is theatre’s Tiger King. It makes Making a Murderer look like Hamlet.

Of course, most of this compulsive odyssey is akin to something that you addictively watch only to realise you have learnt nothing, except how to compress bat-shit behaviour. Belfield bellows over everyone, insults his callers, reads out their telephone numbers and throws a hissy fit if anyone disagrees with him. It has been enthralling in an aghast kind of way, like watching a plane crash.

This is a saga that doesn’t lack a narrative, it’s just that it has exactly the same one every week. But there is an intoxicating allure to the ongoing bizarreness – a force that draws out people from all walks of life that is so arresting and multifaceted; it’s horrifying and jaw-dropping in equal measure.

One that offers no hope of redemption. Just more of the same and so deranged at times, in fact, the whole operation seems like a cry for help on Belfield’s part.

There has been a lot of other unnecessary drama. Of course, Belfield’s livelihood depends on upsetting, offending, and humiliating whoever takes his fancy. Whilst echoing to nothing but the sound of his own self-satisfied laughter.

Slightly to my own surprise, though, I have been following all the fall outs during lockdown thanks to all the incidental (and random) characters who have been sucked into Belfield’s gravitational field.

My absolute favourite, however, was the BBC’s Jeremy Vine.

Everyone from Victoria Derbyshire, Qdos Pantomimes, Jason Manford, John Partridge, Mark Shenton & more have been on the receiving end of Belfield’s personal rants.

This unhinged individual that represents everything that is wrong with modern Britain, and it may be entertaining to watch from a distance, but it also reveals the hidden realities of a society that can’t properly police cyber bullying or take care of those who most need it.

As rude, unedifying, egotistical, and deluded as this spectacle gets, I for one think that enough is enough; time to ignore the unhinged behaviour and break this horrific cycle of attention. It would do him more good than harm in the long run.

Belfield shows the industry for how often it is: inadequate, dangerous and cheap. And what we may initially look on at as entertainment, we should be viewing as an abuse of power.

Elsewhere, ITV investigative reporter and journalist Mark Williams-Thomas ventured into the debacle concluding that Belfield was a ‘really horrible man who abuses and trolls people.’

Well, quite.