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COMEDY LEGEND ANDY HAMILTON ON HIS DEBUT NOVEL

Wimbledon resident Andy Hamilton is best known for penning hit TV show Outnumbered and the 2014 blockbuster What We Did on Our Holiday starring David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly – and now he’s published his debut, crowd-funded novel, The Star Witness, in time for Wimbledon BookFest

Words: Madeleine Howell

Prolific radio dramatist, comedy screenwriter and actor Andy Hamilton has turned his hand to a new medium – novel writing. ‘The Star Witness is very funny, but it’s serious as the same time,’ he says of the book.

‘When you’re writing comedy, there’s often an element of seriousness concealed beneath it. The book is about a soap actor, who makes a series of mistakes and finds himself the target of public vitriol. I wanted to write about the effects of celebrity culture, and the new narcissism of the selfie society. It’s a commentary on how distorted things can be in the media.’

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His first foray into fiction has been an enjoyable, ‘organic’ experience, he says. ‘I’d pick it up and put it down again. I kept going back to it. The best thing about writing a book is that you’re never quite sure where it might lead you. On telly, you’ve only got half an hour, so there’s a limit to the alleyways and avenues you can pursue.’

According to Hamilton, it’s also a much more solitary creative process. ‘You write a book on your own, but TV is hugely collaborative. You write something, but you employ dozens of people to help realise it – actors, technicians… I do enjoy that element. I’m not sure if I would have the temperament to write only novels.’

It’s a page turner, he promises. We’ll be picking up a copy pronto.

Watch Andy Hamilton introduce his new novel, The Star Witness, here:

Buy tickets for Andy Hamilton’s event at the Big Tent at Wimbledon BookFest on Sunday 2 October at wimbledonbookfest.org. For more on his new book see unbound.com/books/star-witness 

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