He is probably the world's most famous meerkat - although almost nobody outside of Britain will have heard of him.

Aleksandr Orlov, a Russian, cravat-wearing aristrocrat, is a CGI meerkat who is the star of a British television commerical for car insurance website comparethemarket.com.

In the hilarious adverts, in which he speaks English with a Russian accent, he shows his dismay that many people are accidentally going to the website comparethemeerkat.com (which is also a real site) instead of comparethemarket.com as they both sound alike (this probably happens in real life and may be why comparethemeerkat.com have made such an advert).

The adverts have been running since January and have become like a TV series, with the adverts changing every several weeks. His catchphrase, "Simples!" (or "Seemples!" as he pronounces it), has also caught on, with the word now being uttered on many occasions by the Great British public.

Now he is one of Britain's greatest celebrities, and has appeared on many TV shows, including being interviewed on breakfast show Daybreak by Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles.

He has more than 500,000 fans on Facebook and 27,000 followers on Twitter, while on photo-sharing site Flickr there is a popular gallery of Aleksandr's family.

So, like many celebrities, Aleksandr has released his autobiography - and it's a hit!

"A Simples Life: My Life and Times", is already at number 2 on the Amazon best-seller list and is tipped to become Christmas No1. His autobiography is outstripping those of Tony Blair and Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards.

Ebury Press have shrouded the identity of the book's real author in secrecy but it is thought to be Val Hudson, who has been described as 'witty and funny'.

Next up for Aleksandr Orlov may be the release of a pop song.

It's simples: How Orlov the fictional meerkat wrote a secretly-ghosted best-seller

By Daily Mail Reporter
31st October 2010
Daily Mail

He wears a cravat, speaks Russian and has become one of Britain's biggest stars.

Now the cute fictional meerkat who is the star of the Comparethemarket.com adverts with his 'Simples' catchphrase is the hot literary sensation of the moment.

His book is currently number two on the Amazon best-seller list, outstripping the autobiographies of Tony Blair and Keith Richards.

Meerkat memoir: The best-seller by aristocratic meerkat Aleksandr Orlov which is expected to be No1 this Christmas

And today it was revealed that the ghostwriter behind the cheeky meerkat is Val Hudson, a former publisher.

A Simples Life: My Life & Times, is billed as being written by Aleksandr Orlov and is expected to be the Christmas No1.

Ebury Press have shrouded the identity of the book 's real author in secrecy, but Ms Hudson was the centre of speculation after leaving the headline literary house last year.

When asked today about her relationship with the meerkat who portrays himself as being of aristocratic stock, she said: 'I can't talk about it.'

Ms Hudson has spent 25 years in the business with a string of best-selling biographies to her name.

Booked up: Copies of the Aleksandr Orlov biography are quickly snapped up by fans in London's Regent Street

Pampered: Aristocratic Russian Aleksandr in his jacuzzi in his mansion

She was behind the successful biographies of Billy Connolly, written by his wife Pamela Stephenson and has worked with Cliff Richard and Lauren Bacall.

Friends describe her as 'witty and funny'.

Orlov first came to our TV screens in January this year in an advert for comparethemarket.com, expressing his frustration that people kept visiting his website looking for car insurance due to the fact that 'market' sounds similar to 'meerkat'.

Comparethemeerkat.com also turned out to be a real website which allow visitors to compare meerkats and has had more than 3.6 million hits.

Five adverts later, and the introduction of his Head of IT Sergei, Aleksandr has proved to be a nationwide sensation and a record company has expressed an interest in releasing a single.

He has more than 500,000 fans on Facebook and 27,000 followers on Twitter, while on photo-sharing site Flickr there is a popular gallery of Aleksandr's family.

The anthropomorphic animal and his trusted sidekick Sergei have starred in The Journey of Courageousness, a 60-second film chartering the meerkats' journey from the rolling dunes of the Kalahari Desert to the cold wastelands of Russia.

TV star: Aleksandr Orlov is interviewed on the Daybreak show by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley

Last edited by Blackleaf; Oct 31st, 2010 at 12:11 PM..