Alex Howard was born in Lambeth, London in 1961. He spent his early life in Buckinghamshire, Bourne End and was educated at grammar school in Marlow. His higher education was completed at St Peter's College Oxford and Edinburgh University where he studied Arabic and Islamic.
He has worked for the British Council in the Middle East and has taught TEFL in London. He has also trained as a chef and worked in a number of different kitchens. He is married with two children.