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Oh my, it’s been while since I blogged here.

Two and a half years since I posted here about the end of Miranda and Not Going Out – so what’s happened since?

Well Not Going Out has come back, in a new scenario. We’re writing the umpteenth series of it now. As for Miranda, there are rumours in the paper every few weeks that it’s coming back, every time one of the cast breathes and it sounds a bit like ‘We’re in talks’. Who can say…

As for me, I’ve been gigging a-plenty (including a new medically biographical stand-up show I’m performing at Camden Fringe this weekend as I write this – tickets available folks! Come on down, Sat 26th/Sun 27th Aug 2017…).

And I’ve been writing for more TV, including TFI Friday, Buble at the BBC, The BBC Music Awards, and a rollercoaster series of Top Gear: a crazy five months under the spotlight of the tabloids, culminating in everyone on the bus voicing opinions on the precise ideal volume of Chris Evans’ voice/T-shirt. I arrived with Chris and left with him. Amazingly, given the press interest at the time (even making the front pages, as well as countless Murdoch media grumblepieces), I’ve not had one journo get in touch asking for my experience on it. They were delightfully printing how “an unnamed source told us Presenter #1 shouted at people in this meeting” and “another unnamed source told us Presenter #2 doesn’t share food and his favourite food is sandwiches”. I’m astounded that no one’s even bothered to get in touch to ask if any of it was true. Then again, who needs truth once the article’s out?

Ah, speaking of articles, that’s why I’m here.

Another thing I’ve been doing is writing a Christmas book. For a couple of years now, I’ve been researching and writing Hark! The Biography of Christmas – you can of course pre-order it by clicking on its title just there in the line above. Would you? Thanks.

It’s simply the history of Christmas, told via the 12 dates of when I think Christmas became a bit more like our modern version of it. The whole of Christmas is here: origins of crackers, tinsel, turkey, holly, White Christmas, panto, Scrooge, Santa, carols… Why we think of our Christmas as a snowy time (it’s to do with the ice age, the young Dickens and Frankenstein), a time for charity (it’s to do with Boxing Day, the older Dickens and Cornish tin mines), and a time for family (it’s to do with trains, Gotham City, and the word ‘knickers’). There is of course plenty of church (a Nativity with no donkey, no innkeeper and possible dozens of wise men) and plenty of commerce (the world’s first Santa’s grotto? East London). There’s even a farting jester, The Simpsons, Daphne Du Maurier’s scary dad, and Englebert Humperdinck (not that one).

In fact I don’t think there’s anything of Christmas I’ve left out. I’m waiting for someone to read it and tell me what’s missing.

The book’s out mid-September, but as I say, very much pre-orderable now. I’m having two (I know, greedy) book launches – in Guildford on Sun 1st Oct and Holborn, London on Wed 11th Oct. If you’d like to come to either, email this special email address for details to get on the list – it’s free but ticketed, and both will include festive nibbles and a whistlestop tour through Christmas history from yours truly. Oh, and book signings galore of course. “Perfect stocking-filler!” Not my words – the words of Miranda Hart.

So.

The reason I’ve resurrected this blog…

To drip-feed Christmassy articles/extracts between now and Christmas. Festive delights a-plenty will follow in subsequent posts. For now, it’s still August, so I’ll have some respect for the season and not start till September. But come September 1st, the festive floodgates will open… and the blog’s going to be the Christmassiest place on the planet.

Merry Summer!

Hark Final Cover

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