I love the BBC – I think they employ some of the best comics – supremely talented and really just gifted writers. I did some amazon.com searches for BBC comics and found some great books written by BBC performers.
A Load of Old Ball Crunchers: Women in History by Jo Brand. I love Jo Brand – she’s a brilliant, irascible comedienne, with a peppery, angry view of the world. She’s a sort of British-version of Roseanne Barr. Fans of AbFab will remember Brand in a cameo she did playing the travel writer for Patsy Stone’s magazine. This is a collection of famous women – some historic (Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc), some celebs (Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Stone, Judy Garland, the American Roseanne Barr). Brand’s very irreverent when writing about these women, but she does enjoy them and how they’ve challenged traditional gender roles.
Help Yourself with the Kumars by Sanjeev Bkaskar. The Kumars at No 42 is one of my favorite BBC shows – it’s a fake chat-show/sitcom about an Indo-British family that is terribly indulgent to the son, Sanjeev (Bkaskar), who decides he wants to be a chat-show host. His mom and dad, eager to push his ambitions, mow down their garden and build a set in their Wembley home. The show deals with a lot of cultural stereotypes, both English and Indian, and some may find the humor a bit crude, I think it’s funny – especially when their guests make appearances. This book is a fake self-help book, ostensibly written by the Kumars who give advise on a whole host of subjects, each in a distinct voice.
A Tiny Bit of Marvellous by Dawn French. I loved French’s memoir, Dear Fatty and thought she was brilliant on French & Saunders. I didn’t know she wrote a novel – it got some mixed reviews on amazon.com, but I think she’s a great talent, so I decided to chance it and get the book.
Absolutely Fabulous by Jennifer Saunders. This is just simply scripts from the first season of 6 episodes. Saunders’ scripts are hilarious and even though the cast is the best part of the show (Joanna Lumley as Patsy is genius), but reading the scripts is fun, as well.