David Nobbs was born in Kent. After university, he entered the army, then tried his hand at journalism and advertising before becoming a writer. A distinguished novelist and comedy writer, he lives near Harrogate with his wife Susan.
The wonderfully entertaining new novel from bestselling author of The Fall and Rise of Reggie Perrin. Long-time Potherthwaite resident Sally Mottram cannot stand the decline of her town. The bookshop is about to close, abandoned buildings line the canal and Potherthwaite's residents seem stuck in a disheartened rut. Something has to be done, but what? And who will do it? When an unexpected tragedy shatters Sally's life, she bravely takes on the task herself. Supported by a group of locals, including thrice-married Marigold Boyce-Willoughby, who is forever looking for love, and married couple Jill and Arnold Buss, who might both be falling for their new neighbours, Sally embarks on her ambition to bring the town back to life. But can one woman rally a whole community to save itself? David Nobbs' much-anticipated new novel is a hilarious, heartwarming tale about what keeps our community spirits alive.
A great bit of writing, thoroughly enjoyed. Nobbs created Reginald Perrin and is, in my mind, a comic genius. Here he tackles an odd subject, one where both people in a marriage want a sex change. How they and their teenage children adapt is beautifully handled, both with genuine humour and great sensitivity. A very fine book indeed.Comparison: Nigel Williams, Stephen Fry.Similar this month: None, but try John Mortimer for his dry humour or Peter Ackroyd for his fine writing.
Henry Pratt, back home from National Service, is a man at last. As eager to prove it as he is to please, he is in at the deep end in his chosen profession - cub reporter on the Thurmarsh Evening Argus. As trams and typewriters chatter to the echoes of Suez and Hungary, Henry finds himself in an exciting if bewildering world. His first scoop about a stolen colander is not quite as straightforward as he hopes. Misprints and chuckles abound as ever-hopeful Henry manages to fall foul both of typesetters and attractive women. And, in a profession not noted for kindness to the diffident, he is as prone to accident as practical jokes. Nothing ever goes quite right for Henry. So when the scoop of a lifetime finally comes his way it threatens to upset the family and complicate further his ever-hopeful love life.
It Had to be You reaffirms Nobbs as the best writer of comedy and observer of the nuances of human nature that there is today.One man, five very different women.James Hollingshurst is a man shaped by those who surround him. And in James's case, it's some very different women. Be it his trusty wife Deborah, his hapless PA Marcia or his ex-girlfriend Jane. And there's one woman in James's life who looks set to upset the status quo...But a tragic accident is about to shake the bedrock of life as James knows it. An event sets a train in motion, which will challenge everything he's ever known and everyone he's ever loved. It will also bring his beloved daughter, Charlotte who he has not seen for fifteen years, tantalisingly close to him...
Alan and Ange are on a train, heading for London. Alan is a philosophy lecturer, still a virgin at fifty-five; Ange a twenty-something, horoscope reading, darts groupie. They certainly don't expect their first casual meeting to lead to anything, but it does. Seizing the day, as they pull into Euston station, Alan asks Ange out to dinner and so begins the unlikeliest of liaisons. As they get to know each other, they are initiated into each other's worlds. From the claustrophobic confines of an Oxford College to the heady excitement of a big dart's match; from Liebfraumilch to Wittgenstein and everything in between. They even travel to Rome seeing many wonderful things as Alan learns to live for the moment and Ange to appreciate the finer things in life. But can they survive their differences in age and background? Are Alan's feelings the stuff of obsession and infatuation or is this true love? And what sort of philosopher is he if he cannot define and understand love? Told through the voice of Alan, this touching and hilarious story is much more than a tale about an unlikely couple. Ultimately, it is a story about the nature of love.
When pretty young TV researcher Nicky Proctor visits Cafe Henry in London's Soho, Henry Pratt's life changes forever. He becomes an instant star of the TV food quiz, A Question of Salt and before long he is given his own series, Hooray, it's Henry. The book of the series reaches Number Two. He's a celebrity. Henry Ezra Pratt has come a long way from his humble beginnings. But, as usual in Henry's life, things begin to go wrong. He incurs the deep hatred of rival celebrity chef Bradley Tompkins, with his bad manners, bad wig and no Michelin stars. A war is waged against him, escalating into plots and deceptions which threaten to destroy the reputation and career of the man dubbed 'The People's Chef'. It must be Bradley behind all this - or must it? On the domestic front, too, there are storms ahead. Henry is blissfully happy in his second marriage to Hilary, but he is sorely tempted by young Nicky and his lovely co-star Sally. Can he resist? Can he become a real man at last? Or will success spoil Henry Pratt for good...? We last met Henry Pratt in The Cucumber Man. Pratt a Manger continues the hilarious story of a great British underdog.
As a small boy David Nobbs survived the Second World War unscathed, until his bedroom ceiling fell on him when the last bomb to be dropped on Britain by the Germans landed near his home. It was the nearest he came to the war, but National Service would later make him one of Britain's most reluctant soldiers. It was an unforgettable and often unpleasant experience. As a struggling writer, David was catapulted into the thrilling world of satire at the BBC when he rang THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS with a joke and got through to David Frost, who sent a taxi for the joke. He never looked back. His greatness as a modern comic writer was confirmed by the publication of THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN, which he adapted into the immensely successful television series that has entered the fabric of British cultural life, through phrases, images and brilliant humour. A mesmerising, beautifully told tale of life in writing and comedy, I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY is the hilarious, poignant and very personal story of David Nobbs' life, which also describes some of the most famous comedians of the last century and captures a golden age of British television.
Kate Thomas was beautiful, intelligent, witty, passionate and sexy. Now, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine, she is trapped in a hospital ward of sad, mad and bad old women. She escapes by playing to herself the video of her life. What a life it has been. Her six marriages have ended in suicide, a husband's adultery, another husband's deportation as a dangerous alien, a union dispute, a murder, and a natural death. But Kate's journey through the twentieth century is also a search for the truth - about life, death, and which of her three sons murdered her fifth husband. This is a novel rich in memorable characters, from Kate's narrow but loving Welsh family to the wild members of an artists' colony in Cornwall; from Midland piston manufacturers to an investigative journalist whose own life cannot bear investigation.
______________________________________ A classic collection of the hilarious Reginald Perrin books: The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, The Return of Reginald Perrin and The Better World of Reginald Perrin, immortalised in two BBC TV series, now being repeated on BBC Four. Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is surely one of the best loved comedy heroes of our time, in both literature and television. This omnibus brings together the first three Reginald Perrin novels containing a lifetime's outrageous and hilarious adventures. When we first meet Reggie, he is sick to death with selling exotic ice creams at Sunshine Desserts. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricities escalate to the extreme, until finally he leaves the unacceptable face of capitalism behind by driving off in a stolen motorised jelly. In his pursuit of the unconventional, he devotes himself to faking his own death, opening a shop devoted to selling completely useless goods, and setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged. Join Reggie, who didn't get where he is today without some help from some memorable supporting characters, in one man's quest to avoid an everyday existence.
THE COMPLETE PRATT compiles the first three volumes of the misadventures of Henry Pratt, beginning with a brilliantly funny evocation of a Yorkshire boyhood in SECOND FROM LAST IN THE SACK RACE; Henry's first job is as a cub reporter on the Thurmarsh Evening Argus, told in PRATT OF THE ARGUS, hailed by Sue Townsend as 'very funny'. Finally, in THE CUCUMBER MAN, Henry decides to take on a new role and a new challenge - working for the Cucumber Marketing Board in Leeds. Stumbling through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, Henry accumulates marriages and children along the way and THE COMPLETE PRATT is a touching and hilarious ride through a divided Britain...
A wonderfully perceptive BBC Radio 4 comedy of manners and international relations written by David Nobbs (writer of 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin' and 'A Bit of a Do'). Originally broadcast as the 'Afternoon Play' on 24 September 2010. It is a quiet Saturday morning in the Hinchcliffe home. Tony and Sal, tired after a week of work, have time on their hands. But not for each other. Middle-aged and middle class, they haven't had kids and they still feel that emotional vacuum. The doorbell rings. It is an American couple - Monty and Janey - a rather loud duo they stayed with in Delaware years ago. They said, 'If ever you happened to be passing...' Well, the Americans are passing and they have no hotel booked. To Tony's horror Sal invites them to stay. Well, it's only polite isn't it? Once Monty and Janey are settled the doorbell goes again. It is Jan and Hilda, the Flemish Belgian couple from Bruges. They kindly helped when Janey had a migraine in Bruges. Even fed them some waterzooi (Flemish stew). In gratitude Sal and Tony said, 'If ever you happened to be passing...' Then the doorbell goes again - it is Pierre and Colette, French Belgians who helped them in Namur when Sal was sick over a Saab because she had eaten some cloying Flemish stew. In gratitude they said, 'If ever you happened to be passing...' So polite Tony and Sal have a house full. The Americans are loud and pompous and the Belgians loathe each other. But when Colette and Jan find themselves drawn to one another, the ensuing, messy crisis precipitates a reassessment of all the couples' patterns of behaviour. With James Nickerson as Tony and Olwen May as Sal. Also starring in the cast are Kerry Shale, Malcolm Raeburn, Maggie Fox, Melissa Jane Sinden, Szilvi Naray-Davey and Hugo Chandor. Directed by Gary Brown.