Friday 8 March 2019

Meeting David Sedaris (and Nina Stibbe and Helen Fielding)

I was kicking myself that I didn't get a selfie with Nine Stibbe, David Sedaris and Helen Fielding, then I later discovered that not only does David Sedaris have a loathing of photos, but that we were in fact prohibited from taking them. So this is the only photographic evidence I have of me being on stage with those writers, and a couple of other fellow diarists, at the British Library.

I'd been invited to join this illustrious group because of my 1970s diary, which Jon Fawcett the events organiser had seen online and knew me from when he'd had my World's Biggest Comic on show there a few years ago. So pages from my diary got blown up on the big screen and discussed, alongside the other minor guests (Dion Baker and Patti Keane) whose illustrated diaries were way more impressive than mine, being the work of talented grown ups rather than a precocious kid.

Nina Stibbe remembered me from school, which was nice, and we were able to chat about Kibworth, Fleckney and the old days. David Sedaris was fun. I've loved his readings on the radio for years, and he is the same in real life. Witty, open and amusing, but most significantly he's nice to people. He finds something complimentary to say to everyone, like asking where they got that item of clothing. In my case it was my 'plaid' braces that got his attention. I was delighted when, on stage, I got a couple of laughs from his with my occasional line. The only one I remember was when, in the Q&A at the end, someone asked all the guests whether they reread their old diaries and I replied "If I fancy a cringe I'll look at my review of Jim'll Fix It and my Record For The Day by Gary Glitter - no." He chuckled and repeated the 'if I fancy a cringe' bit, which was lovely.

Hev and I had an enjoyable wee night out in town, which had been preceded nby me working at a posh boys school in the home counties while Hev came into London, then of course the long drive home at night before I headed off to a school near Plymouth the next day.

Surprisingly this event, which is surely of note, took me a month to get round to writing up in my diary. This speaks volumes on how my approach to diarising has changed in forty years.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

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