Richard and Judy

There is no way of saying this without blowing my own trumpet, so cover your ears if you don’t like the noise, but ‘Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me has been picked for the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club, which is kind of a big thing. Huge, really. Not least because it’s on a list with Joan Aiken’s ‘Arabel’s Raven’, which is the reason I write at all, and Frank Cottrell Boyce’s ‘Cosmic’, which is the reason I wrote about Billy Grimshaw.

And I always hearted Richard and Judy. I hearted them when it was cool to heart them i.e. twenty years ago, when I was supposed to be writing a dissertation on circuses, but instead was lying on the swirly carpet of 408 Beverley Road, eating endless bowls of Rice Krispies and watching their first ever broadcast on a portable black and white. Then I hearted them when it was uncool to heart them, i.e. when I was working in politics, where you are only supposed to listen to Radio 4 and watch Paxo, or at least, that’s all you are allowed to admit to (political geeks don’t even do ‘ironic’). I hearted them when Judy’s boob fell out on prime time telly, and I hearted them when they got moved to the back of beyond where no one would ever see their boobs again.

And it turns out they heart me too. Aw, thanks, guys. You are like the parents I never had. In fact you are quite like the parents I do have. Especially Richard, who I just know would do an embarrassing dad dance across the floor if he ever had to pick me up from Wimbish Village Disco.

About Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature. I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name. I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
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