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Personnel Alan Pillay

Alan Pillay
Alan Pillay

Alan Pillay a.k.a. Alan Pellay a.k.a. Lana Pellay a.k.a. Lanah Pillay etc is an international star whose career has spanned theatre, film, cabaret, television, radio and the recording industry.

One time transexual disco diva, transgressive being, maverick soul, Channel Four's first out, loud and proud star, comic icon, movie star, children's broadcaster, voice-over queen, comedian and raconteur, Alan has packed a lorry load of credits into a life that began amongst the fish heads and neon lights of Grimsby in northern England sometime in the 1960s.

As soon as he was old enough to don a wig and a pair of stilletos he took the northern club circuit by storm, but Alan was too big a fish for that small pond. At 18 he followed the yellow brick road (well the M1) to London, where he set about making his dreams a reality.

His first TV appearances soon followed with stints on C4's first 'yoof' programme Whatever You Want with Keith Allen and Four For Tonight with Ruby Wax. A parallel career soon developed when he caught the eyes and ears of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who wrote and produced his single "Pistol In My Pocket". As Humberside's answer to Sylvester, the early eighties were spent touring the world's top clubs in a whirl of sequins and feathers, PAs and limos.

When the call came from The Comic Strip Presents... Alan was ready. Ready to steal the show in Gino, Susie, Consuela, and The Bullshitters. His performance in the movie The Supergrass inspired Peter Richardson to write Eat The Rich as a vehicle for Alan's multi-faceted talent. Also smitten with La Pillay was Bristol Funkster Gary Clail who invited him to contribute to his 1991 top 10 hit "Human Nature". The sight of Alan on Top Of The Pops in Vegas-style headress singing 'Let the Carnival begin, every pleasure, every sin' brightened up many a Thursday night.

This was a high profile On-U Sound appearance for sure, but certainly not his only one. In the label's earliest days his track "Demonic Forces" was scheduled for release on its 2nd single (SOUND 2) backed by another from Jeb Loy & The Oil Wells. In the end the single was slated, but the track along with another, "Parasitic Machine", found their way onto On-U Sound's first compilation album - Wild Paarty Sounds Volume 1 (ON-U LP6), released through Cherry Red. Ten years later the "Human Nature" era also produced a third solo On-U recording, "Spirit Soul", appearing on the excellent "Pay It All Back Volume 3" showcase (ON-U LP53).

Television then lured him into its bosom. As a critic for ITV's Funky Bunker, he received as much fan mail as the show's presenter, Craig Charles. His solo show Hello La, which was co-written and directed by Paul McVeigh, followed in 1996, premiering at Islington's Kings Head Theatre in London.

Highly lucrative radio and voice-over work, as well as numerous TV appearances on everything from The Clothes Show to the ITV Chart Show have kept Alan from theatre for a few years but he was back, bigger and bolder than ever with a new show Wide Open For You which played at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London's West End for its three week run in 2001. Most recently Alan has been working on his new autobiographical play called Glitter And Twisted, written by Tim Fountain and directed by Matt Ryan.

(Adapted and supplemented from Alan's own biography at

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Alan Pillay
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