Friday, November 14, 2008
Robert Hanks has reviewed Turned Out Nice Again in the Independent. I'll sort the "numerous factual errors" out for the paperback - there tend to be numerous small factual errors in any first edition. No author or editor can catch every silly little slip, so reader feedback is invaluable, and if you find any howlers, please do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every reviewer has highlighted omissions, which is fair enough. However, to say "it's perverse to devote pages to The Two Ronnies without mentioning Ronnie Barker's roles in Porridge and Open All Hours" misses the point of the book slightly. Quite apart from the fact that I am perverse, I make it fairly clear in the introduction that the book's about the nebulous concept of variety, rather than narrative comedy. A visit to any bookshop, good or bad, will show that comedy, particularly sitcom, is already super-served by nostalgia tomes. Porridge and Open All Hours are both sitcoms. I could have given them a passing mention, but would that have been anything other than a waste of word count that could have been better deployed elsewhere? Monty Python's Flying Circus didn't make the cut because it came out of the BBC's comedy department, A Bit of Fry and Laurie did because it was made by the variety department. Well, it makes sense to me. It's a shame he didn't like it, as it denies me the opportunity to nick the 'Thanks Hanks' joke from Look Around You.