Thursday, 26 April 2012
Have A Nice Day
Author: Barry Norman
Year of publication: 1981, Arrow edition 1982
Back cover blurb: 'Due to the untimely death of the bishop scheduled for the 'Great Men of Our Time' series, the Nat-Met TV crew was sent to Hollywood to do a programmed onteh British actor Willard Kaines - whose suitability for the honour seemed to rest on the fact that he was old, rich and so obscure that no one could quickly think of any reasons against him. But, as the unhappy crew soon discovered, there were more than one or two.
Barry Norman, who knows the worlds of film and television better than most, now takes Hollywood apart in a novel of coruscating hilarity.'
Quick flick reveals: I grew up with Barry Norman and his even-tempered reviews of mediocre eighties Bond films, and once went to see him give a talk in a village hall somewhere. It consisted mostly of anecdotes about hanging out with Richard Burton in various stages of intoxication and what a terrible person Peter Sellers was, plus a question and answer session which Middle England took as an opportunity to vent its rage at Norman's replacement on the BBC Film programme with Jonathan Ross. (Look, he's a very different type of presenter,' he answered, diplomatically). Barry doesn't have a favourite film but 'he liked Gladiator'.
Anyway, I find it very hard to imagine Barry Norman sitting down at a typewriter and hammering out the word 'fuckin'', but that's exactly what he did when writing this comic tale of movie folk doing something or other. I see absolutely no reason to believe that it's not hilarious.
Random paragraph: '"Shut up," said Mark. The commercials had finally ended and the newscaster was on screen. She was a Eurasian girl in her late twenties who, despite being quite as green as everybody else, was undeniably beautiful. The name caption flashed across her apparently green bosom said "Tina Ling".'