All about the meerkats

Answers when you need them

Aleksandr, Sergei and even Oleg are new to Australia, and there's plenty that Aussies don't know about them! The Orlovs are an open book though, so we've gathered up everyone's most frequently asked questions about these meerkats.

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Meerkat FAQs

About the meerkats

Do the meerkats visit relatives in Africa?

Although Aleksandr is a workhorse, he does like to return to his ancestral home of Africa now and then to visit relatives. During one flight to the Kalahari Desert, Aleksandr had to ride in the pet cargo with an ordinary bunch of animals because Sergei forgot to book him first class. Unsurprisingly, Sergei did not receive any postcards from abroad and was temporarily demoted to Oleg's full-time nappy changer.

More recently, the meerkats holidayed in Africa to 'test drive' comparethemarket.com.au's amazing safari adventure, where Aleksandr not only caught up with relatives; he also saw crocodiles, elephants, lions, and more. Baby Oleg spent most of his time catching (and eating) bugs with his cousins, while Sergei found himself in trouble with an ostrich!

How did the Orlovs come up with comparethemeerkat.com.au?

The concept of comparethemeerkat.com.au dates all the way back to 1920, when Anton Orlov – Aleksandr’s father - and his school friend, Stanislav, found a box that contained many paintings from The Orlov Collection. Anton and Stanislav took turns in holding up the paintings and asking each other which one was better and that entertained them until the sun went down.

After playing this game with Stanislav, Anton believed there was great potential in meerkat comparison, so he packed his bag with all the paintings he could carry and ran away to Moscow, where he looked to make a name for himself.

Just when things were looking up - with the initial success of the meerkat comparison business and the birth of Aleksandr - Anton woke up with a headache one day that got gradually worse. With Anton unable to carry on with the business, Aleksandr decided to continue his father’s legacy and run the meerkat comparison service.

Stanislav initially taught Aleksandr the basics of the business, before hiring his nephew, Sergei Vladamanov, who eventually took over Stanislav’s position in the company. Now, comparethemeerkat.com.au is the most successful meerkat comparison service in the world, thanks to Aleksandr’s vision and Sergei’s ability to make tea.

What are the meerkats’ favourite foods?

Typically, a meerkat diet consists of worms, crickets, grasshoppers, small rodents, lizards, small snakes, eggs, fruit, and ant larvae. This makes Aleksandr perfect choice for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

However, being a ‘billionairekat’, Aleksandr much prefers ‘haute cuisine’ or fine-dining meerkat food, such as grasshopper roulade or lizard a l’orange. To accompany his meal, he likes a tall glass of beetle juice, and on colder nights he enjoys ladybird tea!

Baby Oleg is not a fussy eater, but he is a messy one! He will eat anything that’s put in front of him, and has an inkling for bugs and grubs (especially stick insects and slugs). Recently, he was introduced to the Orlov family staple of caviar, which he loved and has developed a taste for. He definitely has the same sophisticated palate as papa Aleksandr!

Sergei loves a good bug BBQ, with snake sausages, rodent steaks, and barbecued skewers of crickets, grasshoppers, scorpions and beetles. He also sneaks snack worms (not mealworms) while he’s working in the I.T. department when Aleksandr isn’t looking.

Recently, Aleksandr tasked Sergei with compiling his list of top five “Super Dooper” foods & drinks, including the world-famous cockroach milk!

What are the meerkats’ favourite animals?

When the meerkats visit their ancestral home in Africa, Aleksandr’s favourite animal is the lion as he demands attention wherever he goes, and the lion’s mane is very stylish! However, he can’t stand mongooses; they are his least favourite animal because they want to be Meerkats (but they don’t compare).

Sergei’s favourite animal is the sloth, because after working so hard running the I.T. department, he wishes he could just have a good nap! His least favourite animal is the hyena, because they chase him around the plains of Africa when all he wants to do is read a new I.T. book!

Baby Oleg LOVES giraffes, and thinks their long necks make the perfect slide! But he doesn’t like crocodiles because they scare him!

On their recent trip to interview the peoples of Australia about health insurance, Aleksandr appreciated the fighting spirit of the kangaroo, Sergei may have found a new favourite animal in the koala, and baby Oleg thought quokkas were the cutest animal ever!

What are the meerkats’ hobbies?

Running a successful business is Aleksandr’s hobby, but he also enjoys anything to do with Meerkovo culture: reading Russian literature and philosophy, listening to classical music and enjoying architecture, art shows, and film around the world (he goes to Cannes film festival every year). When he gets a bit of spare time, he also likes to go fencing or golfing (with Sergei as his caddy), and indulge in delicious fine dining at Michelin-Star restaurants!

Baby Oleg’s hobby? Mischief - he loves creating a mess for Sergei to clean up!

Between running the I.T. department and taking care of baby Oleg, Sergei doesn’t have much time for his favourite hobbies. However, when all the I.T. bugs are taken care of, Sergei enjoys crosswords, watching ‘Meerflix’, and eating beetles in bed!

How old are Aleksandr and Sergei?

Aleksandr, the very handsome and successful ‘businesskat’ that founded comparethemeerkat.com.au, was born on 4 July 1962 to parents Anton and Anna Orlov. He looks much younger than 56, however, due to a rigorous exercise routine of racketball and chasing Oleg.

Sergei is a very old meerkat, and there has been much speculation about how old he really is. However, it’s commonly believed that he was born all the way back on 12 March 1937.

Aleksandr

What type of music does Aleksandr listen to?

Aleksandr has an acute ear for classical music, like Tchaikovsky. He’ll often play records of famous Russian composers while entertaining A-list celebrities or the Russian aristocracy.

After a hard day’s work, Aleksandr won’t shy away from The Beatles and has a big soft spot for Australia’s very own Kylie Minogue. He’s also a fan of Canadian country music; notably Shania Twain and Celine Dion. In fact, Aleksandr once offered to fly Celine Dion to his mansion to perform at one of his lavish dinner parties but had to reschedule due to important business duties.

What are Aleksandr’s favourite movies?

Aleksandr’s favourite movies are Titanic (he knows every line) and The Breakfast Club. In fact, he has the original ‘Heart of the Ocean’ – Rose’s blue diamond necklace from the Titanic – located in his secure vault. At times, you will find Aleksandr in the comfort of his very own cinema room, watching the latest Hollywood flick while Sergei serves him a glass of beetle juice.

Aleksandr likes the idea of playing himself in a biopic, but would only accept the role if Paul Hogan plays Sergei. Aleksandr also enjoys watching Antiques Road Show, as well as Knight Rider and Baywatch.

What are Aleksandr’s favourite books?

Aside from his masterworks A Simples Life and Meerkat Tales, Aleksandr loves the work of other iconic Russian authors. Classics from Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Ibsen, and Chekov can all be found in his bookshelves. He also has a keen interest in history, specifically, books about the meerkat mongoose wars.

Outside of Russian literature, other books Aleksandr enjoys are Seven Little Meerkats, The Great Katsby, The Meerkat Investor, and The Travelling Meerkat Chronicles, along with magazine subscriptions to What Helicopter?, The Meerkconomist, and MQ (Meerkat Quarterly).

What does Aleksandr like about Australia?

It’s fair to say that Aleksandr likes many things about the great southern land. Despite finding our accent a little hard to understand, he believes Australia is a wonderful place for business opportunities. More importantly, Aleksandr loves being a ‘celebritykat’ who can help find Aussies a great deal on their household bills.

Aleksandr loves the culture down under, particularly when he’s in line to buy a scrumptious snag outside the local hardware store. He also likes a delicious yeast extract that he spreads on his lizard toast, rock ‘n’ roll band Cold Chisel, and the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground (he thinks it’s a stadium filled with crickets). He finds the local wildlife fascinating, particularly kangaroos, which he originally mistook for giant rabbits!

Who are Aleksandr’s favourite celebrities and personal heroes?

Aleksandr respects people who he feels represent his values of sophistication, culture, and success. Fellow entrepreneurs Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson, along with famous Russian authors Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekov, and Fyodor Dostoevsky, are among the few high-profile individuals he admires most. He also has a soft spot for pop artists like Shania Twain, Kylie Minogue, and Celine Dion – particularly the latter, since she sang the iconic ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from his favourite movie, Titanic.

How did Aleksandr become the most well-known Russian entrepreneur in the world?

Aleksandr is a wealthy member of the Meerkovo aristocracy, and comes from a long line of distinguished meerkats. Mr Orlov followed in his ancestor’s footsteps by taking over the family business of comparing meerkats.

Not only is Aleksandr the owner (and founder) of comparethemeerkat.com.au, he now proudly owns comparethemarket.com.au, due to his frustration with people going to the wrong website. Aside from his success in business, Aleksandr is also an accomplished moviekat actor, writer, and director. He regularly takes time out of his busy schedule to tell tales of his family’s past, which has led to many film offers from Hollywood.

Since 2012, Aleksandr has been very busy educating Australians about the difference between meerkats and markets. You can see many of his achievements online.

Where does Aleksandr come from?

Aleksandr is from Meerkovo, a meerkat village in the mountains of Russia. The Orlov Family migrated there in the late 18th century, after the great famine struck their homeland, the Kalahari Desert. While Aleksandr will occasionally go back home to get in touch with his roots, he’s happy to call Australia his home – especially now that he owns a business here.

How much is Aleksandr Orlov worth?

Aleksandr is a wealthy member of the Meerkovo aristocracy and comes from a long line of distinguished meerkats. However, nobody knows the exact amount that Aleksandr is worth - not even Aleksandr himself. What we do know is that Aleksandr is a billionaire ‘businesskat’, and when he’s not working, he enjoys the lifestyle of the rich and famous; mixing with high-class celebrities and living in great comfort.

He keeps his billions of Russian rubles stored in a secure vault, along with a multitude of other prized and valuable possessions, like “Heart of the Ocean that old lady threw into sea at ends of Titanic”, and Kylie Minogue’s first album, as he is a big fan of her!

Aleksandr has asked Sergei many times to count his piles and piles of Russian rubles, but Sergei is “only good with computermabobs and I.T. stuffs” and counting puts him to sleep.

Why did Aleksandr buy Compare the Market?

After successfully launching comparethemeerkat.com.au – the world’s premier meerkat comparison site, Aleksandr noticed (i.e. Sergei told him) that many people on the website were asking questions about insurance for sport-back coupes and ten-year-old estates.

Aleksandr figured out that people were confusing his website with comparethemarket.com.au. Instead of seeing this as an annoyance, he saw this as a business opportunity. So, he did the only thing a smart, billionaire ‘businesskat’ would do in this situation: he bought the competition with his billions of Russian rubles.

In doing this, Aleksandr knew he could get more people to compare meerkats by ending all confusion and teaching Australians the difference between the two websites. Now that he has, Aleksandr has turned his attention to helping Australians better-understand their household bills.

Why is Aleksandr single?

Aleksandr is a very successful ‘businesskat’, which means he works very hard. Between running two successful businesses, writing critically acclaimed novels, and making timeless movies – just to name a few of his many projects. Although Aleksandr isn’t in a relationship, he does have his fair share of admirers.

Why does Aleksandr wear what he wears?

Aleksandr’s fashion philosophy is always to be the most stylish meerkat in the room, which is why he rarely leaves his mansion without looking suave. His style is more cultured and refined than any other meerkat, and being the world’s most stylish and charming ‘celebritykat’ puts him at the forefront of meerkat fashion.

Whether it’s for an important business meeting, a gala event, or even when he’s interviewing Australians about health insurance, only a most confident meerkat, like Aleksandr, can look so dashing in a burgundy suede smoking jacket.

As for his neck attire, Aleksandr is a ‘billionairekat’, which is why he only wears gold cravats. His cravat collection exceeds even that of Masterchef Australia’s Matt Preston (although with far fewer colours)!

Oleg

Is Oleg the successor of Compare the Market?

Oleg is expected to one day inherit papa Aleksandr’s vast fortunes, including comparethemarket.com.au. For now, Oleg is busy doing typical meerpup things like eating lots of beetles and making a mess for Sergei to tidy up.

Whether it’s running a business or being the best papa, Aleksandr takes his parental duties very seriously. This explains why he lashes out on Meer-care centre costs every year (i.e. an extra 20 rubles per annum for Sergei). When Oleg isn’t biting Sergei’s hand at the dinner table or catching beetles with other meerkats, he’s learning from the best in the business – Aleksandr. In his own words, “Being CEO is difficult, but important people in life like dear Oleg will always be priority.”

Sergei

Does Sergei have any plans to retire?

Sergei has no plans to retire in the near future; but if he were, you might find him on a tropical island with a stomach full of his favourite bugs.

Sergei’s official title is Head of IT at comparethemarket.com.au, but in fear of bolstering his ego, Aleksandr gave Sergei the supplementary title of ‘Personal Assistant’ to Aleksandr, where cleaning, cooking, and tea-making have become some of his key duties. Sergei also bears sole responsibility of fixing Computermabob and technical issues for Aleksandr, along with babysitting Oleg, which might explain why he rarely gets a day off.

Despite how busy he is, Sergei takes his job very seriously and knows if he were to retire he would put Aleksandr in a tough position.

Why does Sergei put up with Aleksandr?

While it may seem like Sergei has to put up with Aleksandr, his existence is quite valuable to the success of comparethemeerkat.com.au. Sergei has a great working relationship with Aleksandr, and off-screen, are very close pals who go on many adventures together.

At times, Aleksandr may get agitated by Sergei (especially when he breaks the computermabob), but that is nothing out of the ordinary.

Being retired, Sergei has had to supplement his meagre pension by working for Aleksandr, who is thrilled to have an ex-Soviet Space Program (Meerkat Branch) employee by his side. Sergei is now head of IT, performing many roles for Aleksandr, from chauffer to tea maker.