Thank you, Richard Osman

I’m looking forward to the day when no-one leaves home without the three essentials: face covering, hand gel, funny book! And it’s all thanks to TV’s Richard Osman of Pointless fame. 

I don’t know if you noticed, but, with little brouhaha and no fuss at all, a book by Richard Osman crept shyly out into the world last week. I’m joking! You couldn’t move for interviews with, discussions on, pictures of, and tweets about him and his debut fiction, the crime comedy, The Thursday Murder Club.

I’m not usually one to puff celeb novels, unless they are actually good books in their own right, which I understand this one is. (See also the excellent works of one Graham Norton.) But this development I see as very good news indeed. Why? Because in recent years, we have been told, humour is out of fashion in the publishing world. I’ll say that again. Humour is out of fashion! This is madness, right? Funny books should never be out of fashion. We always need our ribs tickled and our funny bones pummelled, even – no, especially – in difficult times. 

So, good for you, Richard Osman. I wish you nothing but success, in the hope that your mega sales prompt an avalanche of demand for humorous fiction in general. When that happens, I and the rest of the comic writing world stand ready to serve.