English humourous essayist and author. Born in 1939, Coren was educated at Oxford, Yale and Berkley before embarking on a career in journalism. He started out as deputy editor of Punch (and later editor from 1978 to 1987) and as a columnist and TV critic in the Daily Mail, while concurrently producing a steady trickle of publications, ranging from children's books (the Arthur series) to collections of essays and articles.

Coren is currently a balding, middle-aged man who has been tragically aflicted with the belief that he is much wittier than he actually is. His low fee and articulate delivery have led him to become a regular on such shows as The News Quiz and Call My Bluff (the 'new' version hosted by Bob Holness). On The News Quiz his contributions have a knack of descending into xenophobic slurs against the Germans, but then the Daily Mail does that to people.

Alan's son, Giles Coren, seems to be following in his father's footsteps, doing a stint on The Times Diary column before moving on to being their restaurant critic. His daughter, Victoria Coren, writes for The Grauniad and has made (that is to say directed, with Charlie Skelton) a pornographic film, for the purposes of having something to write a column and book about. (And no, neither of them are funny either.)

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