Yesterday afternoon, I had tea in Soho with comedy scriptwriter and former stand-up Mark Kelly, who recently seems to have published a tsunami of his books via lulu.com
So far, these include Pleased as Punch, Put Your Foot on the Housing Ladder and Enter the World of Work, Murdoch Murder Merchandise and This Is Why We Are Going To Die.
“I misunderstood the rules for the Book of the Month Club,” he told me. “I thought you had to publish a book every month.”
I said I was considering re-publishing Malcolm Hardee’s autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake via lulu.com, but had not pulled my finger out because I was thinking of partly reverting the text to an earlier, more interesting draft version which was not saved electronically, only as a paper print-out. So it was an extra hassle.
“I’m just being bloody lazy,” I explained. “I’d have to go through it making finicky changes.”
Mark has always had anarchic leanings – he once advertised a play of his called Cancelled at Essex University and the performance did not exist when people arrived to see it.
“You could,” he suggested, “just make things up. You can’t say Malcolm had an affair with Princess Diana, because that would be too unbelievable. But having an affair with Malcolm McLaren might be believable. That way, at the point of sexual climax, you could say they each shouted out their own name – Malcolm…”
“I would prefer making up a story that Malcolm had a long-term affair with Bernard Manning,” I said. “Whenever I mention Bernard Manning in a blog, it really gets up people’s noses, so it would get noticed more. But I don’t think any gay affair involving Malcolm would be believable. And any heterosexual affair… Well, however bizarre it seems, it might actually have happened. He might actually have had sex with any woman, however unlikely. He had it off with the most unlikely women.”
“Provided they are dead, you can say anything,” Mark said.
“There’s always Myra Hindley, I suppose,” I mused.
“Mmmmm….” said Mark