Alan was inspired to create Lord Charles (family motto: Semper Inebriate) in 1960, while watching a drunken aristocrat in the audience at the Satire Club off Jermyn Street. "I saw this chap sitting at a ringside table," Alan recalled, "dinner suit on, delightful young lady with him, and there he was patting her knee and pouring her champagne and saying: 'By Jove, you lovely thing, oh you lovely little thing.' And I thought what a wonderful character. But I couldn't find a face for him."
On his office wall, however, was a photo that Alan had been given by Laurel and Hardy after performing with them at a cabaret in 1954 (during the duo's last tour): "I looked at Stan Laurel's face and thought: 'That's the face I want.'"