She has written for some of the best TV shows in recent years – but as Pritchett’s comic, self-deprecating memoir comes out, she explains why she doesn’t get work in the UK
- Read an exclusive extract from her memoir below
There is an astonishing episode in Georgia Pritchett’s hugely enjoyable new memoir, My Mess Is a Bit of a Life, in which her 10-year-old brother, Matt, is snatched in the street by a knife-wielding maniac while the pair are walking to school. This is south London in the 1970s, and Pritchett, who is six years old at the time, can only stand on the pavement and stare in horror. The man is disarmed by police, Pritchett’s brother is released unharmed and, along with the rest of her family, she adjourns to the local station, where the now 53-year-old’s presiding memory of the morning is not of trauma, but of the moment a police horse does a really long wee and nobody knows where to look. It was, she says over Zoom from west London, “very British and symbolic of us having to face a difficult thing that we didn’t want to talk about” – in other words, the typifying approach to life and art of the British comedy writer.
With credits on everything from Veep and Have I Got News for You to Miranda, The Thick of It and Succession, Pritchett is one of the country’s most successful screenwriters, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from her book. My Mess Is a Bit of a Life follows the writer through her semi-bohemian childhood – her mother, Josephine Haworth, is an author; her father, Oliver (nicknamed “the Patriarchy”), a journalist and columnist; and her grandfather was the writer VS Pritchett – to her early years in TV and beyond, and the joy of it is that it is firmly rooted in self-deprecation. By her own admission, Pritchett is overanxious, neurotic, oddly proportioned (she has, she says, an unusually long torso and remarkably short legs, such that “the overall effect is more ferret than human”), and almost fatally self-effacing. A typical episode features Pritchett in labour with her first son, trying to give birth without causing a fuss, while her girlfriend – known only as The Moose – makes small talk with the doctor. Eventually, it becomes too much: “‘Sorry to interrupt, but the baby is coming out of my body,’ I said politely, as the baby’s head appeared. Then I lost consciousness.”
from The Guardian https://ift.tt/3Ar06qY
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