Best-selling author John O’Farrell sharing pearls of wisdom at Clapham Library


For one night only the Clapham resident is at the library reading extracts from his new book ‘The Man Who Forgot His Wife’.


By Daniel Jolly

Best-selling author John O’Farrell is sharing his pearls of writing wisdom at Clapham Library tonight.

O’Farrell – who boasts writing credits for Spitting Image and Chicken Run – celebrates 25 years of his writing career this week and is promoting his new book, The Man Who Forgot His Wife.

For one night only, the 49-year-old Clapham resident is at the library reading extracts from the book, a musing memoir on remarkable stories from writing comedy for TV and radio to penning bewildering literary titles.

“The book, which isn’t out until March, will be getting it’s world premiere at the event and I would describe it as an journey through the highs and lows of my career to date.

“Clapham definitely holds a place in my heart. I really enjoy living there and I think that London is the best city in the world.”

He turned to writing after choosing to give up stand-up comedy – soon after winning a talent at Jongleurs comedy club in Battersea

With writing credits in a vast array of media including books, radio, films and TV, O’Farrell says that the principles are the same – regardless of what you are writing.

“The techniques you use for structuring stories and characters is the same – no matter whether you are writing for a plasticine chicken or a character for a novel.

“Building the elements for a character like emphasing a certain trait is like putting the joke baubles on a comedy Christmas tree.”

O’Farrell is an active supporter of the Labour party and penned a book on the history of the party titled Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter.

The book became a number one best-seller and was listed by the Economist as Britain’s third best-selling political memoir, alongside books by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

“To be put up alongside the names of American presidents is an honour.

“I was hoping they would arrange a drinks party for the three of us to celebrate it, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it.”

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