My super talented wife Catherine Wilkins was doing a question and answer session down at the Book Festival about her funny “My Best Friend and Other Enemies” book series (lots of laughs especially for 8-12 year old girls, but not exclusively - this 47 year old man is a big fan). I am hoping she will become the next JK Rowling and I can sit back and play Yahtzee all day doing nothing. I'm not greedy though. I would be happy if she was even only a quarter as successful as JKR. Fingers crossed. You can help make the dream come true. The first two books are only 99p on Kindle! She’s had to put up with my strops and my ups and downs this year, so it was good to be out of the spotlight and here to support her.
On arriving at the festival one of the first people I saw was Roy Hattersley from off of Old Labour. It made me smile to see him, but then I realised almost all the affection I feel for him is as a result of his Spitting Image puppet. I am not sure there is another politician whose real life image was quite so affected by his satirical puppet. You see the real man and you’re not thinking about his politics or the many books he has written, but of him slobbering and spluttering as spit rolls around in his voluminous mouth. Perhaps the show also destroyed David Steel as a political force, turning him into a tiny puppet in the pocket of David Owen, but Hattersley was not more spitty than anyone else and yet that’s what he became. The show made Thatcher appear more powerful (in charge of her cabinet of vegetables), but the figures that suffered the most from the satire were seemingly the most benign.
Anyway it was cool to see him very briefly in real life. Now in his 80s and still going strong. There’s more to him than a spitting image, though he will never quite shake that off. I bet when he dies there will be a clip from the TV show on the news.
Being a children’s author looks like fun. The audience at my wife’s talk were rapt. Catie’s books are about friendship and how cliques and bullying affect kids and as she discussed ways to deal with these things I was able to watch the mother and daughter in front of me, looking at each other, clearly identifying with the issues and taking on board the good advice. I was very proud of my brilliant wife.
In other arts news I am a bit disappointed to see that yoghurt advert with the Pussycat Dolls woman in it. She leans against some Ancient Grecian monument, causing it to fall over and be destroyed and then she looks slightly guilty and laughs at her desecration of an historical building. She is either a pyschopath or a dairy-based member of Al Qaeda determined to wipe the art of previous non-yoghurt loving communities off the face of the planet. I don't know why any company would want her as a spokesperson for their product. She hates the world.