Friday, 29 June 2012

Galloping off with...Guy Bass as he prepares to face Nemesis of Funny; Philip Ardagh!!

Oh My-ness revealed!

On Wednesday 4th July at 4pm (that's NEXT Wednesday mind- don't hang about), Official Best Children's Bookshop; Tales on Moon Lane, Herne Hill will be welcoming the Outstanding Guy Bass and the Most Excellent Philip Ardagh to their 'Sun Comes Out' festival as they go head to head with each other and the audience in a Joke Off.
It promises to be quite an event. Paramedics will be on hand with oxygen in the event of an attack of killer giggles.

The Little Wooden Horse was given the privilege of going ringside to admire their pre-match punches as they threw some gags, talked fighting talk and limbered up for the Big One.

Best Punches and Funny Pointing in evidence. (Philip Ardagh shown with an earlier defeated opponent shortly before his smile became an uncontrollable paroxysm of mirth)

After watching a little light sparring we managed to all pin Guy Bass to the floor and shove our wooden spoon microphones in his face until he agreed to answer our questions. Unaccountably, Philip Ardagh took advantage of his superior leg length to scarper.

Novice interviewers, we knew the importance of putting our subject at ease, so we made the decision to dress sympathetically. We therefore donned specially designed and crafted headwear in honour of cutey Gothic creation Stitch Head. We also wanted to test his mettle however and see how he would react to the fear of looking up to Philip Ardagh's Chin of Glory. That's why we're also wearing beards.

Here we are honing our questions and cultivating our best Paxman like probing faces with spoon microphones to the ready.

Prepare for the scoop of the century.

Polly: We LOVE (in no particular order) specialist children's bookshops, Real Live Writers and Being Silly. With no holds barred, what do you think is the absolute silliest thing a real live writer could do in a specialist children's bookshop? Will you be doing that on Wednesday please?
Guy: I suspect it would be something involving a herd of goats, a felt tip pen and a bath full of Alphabetti spaghetti. Unfortunately, I'm all out of felt tip pens.

Bill: Dinkin Dings in Guy Bass's books is scared of everything. I am only a little bit scared of vampires. What are you scared of?
Guy: I am only a bit scared of people who are a bit scared of things. Oh, and I have a terrible phobia of little tables.

Eddie: I have 76 books and a magnetic letter S in my bed. How many books do you have or do you prefer teddies?
Guy: I have a 'teddy book'. It's a bear that you rip open to find a fully illustrated book, hidden in its guts. It's equal parts informative, cuddly and stomach churning.

Polly: There are a lot of songs and jokes about poo and bottoms in our household a lot of the time. Is there anything funnier? Can you suggest a new direction to go in (PLEASE)?
Guy: The Search for the Joke That's Funnier Than a Poo Joke has preoccupied writers, entertainers and parents for centuries. In the late 14th century, an apparently 'perfect' joke was created by a monk living in the foothills of Swansea, which was hilarious but contained no reference to poo or bottoms. The joke itself has long been forgotten...but the monk's name was Gavin P. Fartytrumps.

Bill: My teacher likes me to use a lot of 'wow' words when I write stories. What are your favourite wow words?
Guy: I'm not sure I know what a 'wow' word is- is it a word that impresses you? I saw the word 'envelope' rescue a cat from a tree once- that was pretty impressive. Generally I'm fond of words that you don't hear very often, like grimpian and lunderostical.

Eddie: What shape and flavour of cake would you like for your next birthday?
Guy: I'd like a Superman-shaped cake. But Batman-flavoured.

Polly: We're promised a Joke Duel on Wednesday but in a genuine Fight To The Death which of you would win and what methods would you use?
Guy: I think it's fair to say I'd be at a disadvantage against The Warlord Ardagh. He's got the height, the determination, the weaponry-concealing beard...

Bill: Will you write some more books please? What books are you going to write next?
Guy: I was literally about to jack it all in to pursue my dream of running an underwater patisserie but since you ask so nicely, I'll write another Stitch Head book...and maybe another Atomic! book...and then a new series for 2014...and maybe even a book for older readers. Take that, waterlogged croissants!

Eddie: Have you ever been on holiday in a caravan? I want to go on holiday in a caravan with a little table in it. Can we go on holiday in a caravan?
Guy: Do we have to have the little table...?

Readers, My Fellow Interviewers and I can come to only one conclusion.


okay two conclusions: If that is somehow impossible- BUY ALL THEIR BOOKS NOW (preferably from Tales on Moon Lane or your own nearest lovely specialist children's bookseller)


gone a bit shouty- that's what spending too much time as a Jeremy Paxman does to you.

if you were wondering- here's the scoop of the century:
(and with that standard of picture pun I'm staying well clear of any Joke Ring)

With the hugest of huge thanks to Guy Bass and Philip Ardagh for coming out to play and allowing Liberties to be taken, and to all the team at the Sun Comes Out on Moon Lane Festival.


  1. Fabulous interview! Really made me smile. What brilliant interviewers you are :-)

  2. Thank you both. Who will next face our wooden spoons of confession?