Tag Archives: Billy Connolly

In your arms only

When asked – and sometimes even when not asked – about what makes the Edinburgh International Book Festival so special, or who you might meet there, I have often borrowed the tale below to describe what could happen.

But it’s never as good as when the someone who was there tells it. And since Julie Bertagna put it on Twitter, I feel it’s out there, in public.

It’s a lovely way of remembering Sean Connery. And what a lucky man he was, to have Julie in his arms!

Besides, rugs are a nuisance…

Barry Hutchison – as funny as Billy Connolly; except he’s Scottish

Here, at long last, is my Barry Hutchison interview. The one I wanted to do because I like funny people. Funny as in humour, not odd, or anything.

Barry Hutchison

The only one being odd in this interview, is me. I got out of control not just once, but twice, almost (I mean, completely) disgracing myself. But Barry’s a nice man, and probably dismissed my behaviour as what you expect from elderly witches.

What’s lovely about him is that he has no idea how good his books are or how entertaining he is at events. (Or how short he seemed…)

To be honest, I don’t know how to get out of all this, so please just read and enjoy. Especially Barry’s books.

(The title quote is not mine. It’s something someone reported a child to have said about Barry. Not sure what Mr Connolly would think about it. The Scottish aspect. Not the funniness.)

Did you write that yourself?

The cover of G2 one day this week made me happy. I think it was the photo featuring a man and a stack of books. The man didn’t do much for me, but I like stacks of books. Just wish they had turned them all the same way before taking the picture. The ferret faces the opposite way from all the others, and I’m unsure if by design or accident. You don’t know with ferrets.

John Harris undertook to read an awful lot of celebrity autobiographies in a very short time. He is to be admired for surviving. I knew that kind of book is likely to be dire, but the direness was worse than expected. It would appear that the kind of editing that novelists experience does not take place when a highly paid celeb sits down to write about themselves.

Maybe ghostwriting is too much to hope for, but they could at least work on the opening sentence in order not to put the prospective reader off before they’ve paid for the book.

Though I do understand why the books sell. I may not know who Cheryl Cole is (I have an inkling, before you all write in), but were I a fan of hers, I’d like to read more about her. So anyone who writes a biography of someone I admire, be it themselves or a ghost or someone else, I’d probably buy it. And if it’s bad, it will join its sisters in Oxfam before long. Two months after I’d heard Roger Moore talk about his autobiography in Cheltenham, the charity shops were awash with copies.

I enjoyed reading about Rolf Harris and Billy Connolly, and John Barrowman, sort of. John very sensibly got his sister in to write. I did not last past the first 100 pages of Michael Winner. Though I did learn something from his book. If you can fill pages with photos of yourself with the caption ‘here I am with XX’, then Daughter can use hers with Mr Winner in her autobiography, when the time comes. It’s quite a good photo, even if it did embarrass her dreadfully. I believe he helicoptered in for it, as well.

But is it important that Joe Bloggs writes the book himself? Is it not more important that we can read something readable about Joe Bloggs? If we are fans of his. Admittedly, I feel the only person I could write a passable biography of is me. And I’m not interesting to more than a handful of people.

It seems the book to read at the moment is Keith Richards’, but I’m not interested in him. Maybe I should be.

I just looked at the original article again. I apologise. It’s a meerkat. Not a ferret. Ferrets are better.