HE has written a book called The Star Witness and he will be a ‘star turn’ at the Taunton Literary Festival.

The writer in question is Andy Hamilton who will be talking about his book and no doubt take questions about the television series Drop the Dead Donkey which he co-wrote with Guy Jenkin.

Andy’s career when you look at it on paper has a ‘perfect symmetry’ to it as he graduated from being a radio writer to a television script writer to a director and editor.

But as Andy explained this was never planned and it just happened.

He said: “I started out working on radio in 1972 when I was writing for the show Weekending.

"The programme was a weekly topical satirical show which meant writing sketches which were one and a half to two minutes long. Each one had to be fun but also had to have a argument.

“Doing the show taught me the need to be disciplined and have to work to a deadline and do it under pressure.

“From there I worked on various radio show and wrote material for Les Dawson, Dave Allen and Not the Nine O’ Clock News.

“This (career) just happened I didn’t sit down and planing it.

"It was however good and I enjoyed having control over what I was doing and I enjoyed directing and editing the shows.

"I loved doing the editing and pre-production.”

Somerset County Gazette:

One of the shows which Andy is well known for and associated with as he cowrote it with Guy Jenkin is Drop the Dead Donkey.

This was broadcast in Channel 4 between 1990 - 1998 and was set in the offices of “GlobeLink News”, a fictional TV news company.

The show was awarded the Best Comedy (Programme or Series) Award at the 1994 BAFTA Awards. At the British Comedy Awards the show won Best New TV Comedy in 1990, Best Channel 4 Comedy in 1991, and Best Channel 4 Sitcom in 1994.

Speaking about the cult comedy show, Andy said: “I co-wrote it with Guy Jenkin.

"We worked on the premise we wanted to do an office comedy and wanted to look at the different office dynamics.

"It could have been set in any office.

"We didn’t do any research about a newsroom rather focussing on the stereotypes in the office.”

There are lots of things happening in the world which have occurred and keep happening on a daily basis which if the greatest comedy writers had written down in a script no one would have believed them as it would seem too far fetched.

But fact as they say is stranger than fiction.

Somerset County Gazette:

Giving his three cents on what is happening now, Andy said: “I have been writing joke for 40 years and this is the weirdest phase in my life.

“This is a shameless political environment and America has elected a mad man.

"Thersa May is paralysed by weakness and she cannot operate properly.

“A lot of comedian would rather have a nicer safer world with less jokes rather than one which has the risk of global war.

Trump is a delusional fantastic and this is a very surreal time.”

These words ‘surreal time’ could be a clue to one of Andy’s favourite books.

The one book which got him interested in read was Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.

Andy said this was ‘the one’ which got his creative juices going.

Now, Andy is looking forward to coming to Taunton Literary Festival.

He has already attended literary festivals in Frome, Cheltenham and Edinburgh and is now looking forward to meet people in Taunton.

Andy said he has been to Taunton once in the past when he did a show at The Brewhouse Theatre.

He said: “What I like about a literary festival is the interaction with people.

“I enjoy the question and answer session after the talk and this gives me direct interaction with people.”

Andy will be at the Taunton Literary Festival talking about his book The Star Witness.

This is Andy’s first solo novel and it is an effort which he is very happy about.

He explained it had taken him 10 years to complete it, as he was writing it off and on in between other jobs.

Andy said: “I do not think I learnt anything about myself by writing the book but did appreciate the perseverance in keeping going and finishing it.

"I am really pleased with it and proud of it.”

The Star Witness is the story of one man’s descent into disgrace and his journey back to join the human race.

Andy Hamilton will be at the Taunton Literary Festival at 7pm on Saturday, November 18. at the Castle School, Taunton.

Tickets cost £9 or £14.50 including a copy of The Star Witness.

Buy tickets online at tauntonliteraryfestival.net or call Brendon Books on 01823 337742.