Wanna-be comedians and Harry Hill fans will love this. Matt Mills dreams of being a comedian and of making the big time: he watches his heroes on DVD and hopes one day, that will be me. Trouble is, he’s only twelve and the other half of his comedy double act would rather be in the art room than on stage. So Matt goes it alone. Well, nearly alone – he’s got his teeny tiny manager – the appropriately name Kitty Hope with him. Everyone needs a Kitty Hope in their corner: she’s focused, she’s tireless, she’s fearless… she’s eleven! (she nearly stole the show, for me). After a school talent show and some disastrous performances, Kitty gets Matt an audition for The T Factor (demon child of X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent) – if I say any more I’ll spoil the plot, but look out for a quintet of dancing chihuahuas and a rock bank called Toxic Cabbage (love how they got their name).
Kids will love the illustrations by The Beano’s Steve May and parents who take a sneaky peak will like the fact that Matt (Matthew) is actually Harry Hill’s real name and that the girl the boys all fancy is called Magda (Harry Hill’s wife’s real name) – cute. The book is a comic caper and a kind of handbook for would be comedians –there are lots of tips, for example, dealing with hecklers (Harry Hill’s own put down is the best and the funniest); and there are interesting explanations and lots of information about comedy greats to inspire young comedians – the Tommy Cooper jokes were especially well chosen: ‘Last night I slept like a log. I woke up in the fireplace’. Priceless.
Special thanks to Christine Hamill for providing this review. Christine is the author of The Best Medicine, also a story of a junior would-be comedian. It is shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Book Award (Lollies) and has a starring role for Harry Hill.