Working name and radio persona of UK broadcaster and civil servant Leslie Harrison Lambert (1883-1941), the first nationally popular radio storyteller. Between 1924 and 1940 he broadcast over 40 15min stories, many collected as Good Evening, Everyone! (coll 1928) and A.J. Alan's Second Book (coll 1932), the former containing most of his weird stories. Generally AJA told Tall Tales, with enough conviction that many listeners believed him. His weird tales tended to be Ghost Stories, although he loved to make the absurd commonplace, as in "Percy the Prawn" (1934), which has a fortune-telling shellfish. AJA firmly established radio as a medium for storytelling, and thus prepared the way for his successor, Algernon Blackwood. [MA]
other works: The Best of A.J. Alan (coll 1954) ed Kenelm Foss.
further reading: "A J Alan: The First Broadcaster" by Jack Adrian in Million #8, March/April 1992.
Leslie Harrison Lambert