Skip to content

Funny Girl

by Nick Hornby

Barbara Parker is Miss Blackpool of 1964, but she doesn’t want to be a beauty queen. She wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball. So she leaves Blackpool and her family behind, takes herself off to London, and gets a job behind the cosmetics counter of a Kensington department store, while trying to work out how she can get herself noticed. A chance meeting with an agent results in a new name and an audition for a new BBC comedy series. Sophie Straw’s time has come.

Funny Girl is the story of a television programme, and the people responsible for it: the writers, Tony and Bill, friends since national service and comedy obsessives; producer Dennis, Oxbridge educated, clever, mild and devoted to his team in general and Sophie in particular; and Sophie’s good-enough looking co-star Clive, who feels that he’s destined for better things, despite the apparently inexhaustible fringe benefits that television stardom offers.

As the 1960s progress, and the British people fall in love with Sophie’s sitcom, the pleasures of teamwork begin to wane: nothing can stay good forever, and the mess of real life will always intrude.

Funny Girl offers a captivating portrait of youthful exuberance and creativity at a time when Britain itself was experiencing one of its most enduring creative bursts.


06 November, 2014

About Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of the novels SlamHigh FidelityAbout a BoyHow to be Good and A Long Way Down. He is also the author of Fever Pitch, a book on his life as a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club, and has edited the collection of short stories Speaking with the Angel. He has also written a book about his favourite songs, 31 Songs, and his reading habits,The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. His latest book is Juliet, Naked. In 1999, he was awarded the E. M. Forster award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in Highbury, North London.

Other books by Nick Hornby


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *