Show cover of It's Lit But Is It Funny?

It's Lit But Is It Funny?

This is a podcast where we’re going to take a critical look at one of the most neglected genres in literature: the funny book. In each episode I’m going to invite a fellow writer to pick a favourite example and tell me what makes it work for them.


Andy Fanton on George’s Marvellous Medicine
Andy Fanton talks to me about Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine, as well as his own work writing and drawing for The Beano and The Dandy, the responsibility of taking on much-loved iconic characters, NFTs, and the potential retooling of Lord Likely.
44:48 13/06/2022
Nik Perring on The Rock From The Sky
The writer Nik Perring talks to me about Jon Klassen's The Rock From The Sky, as well as his own work and how he would cope with an imaginary tail.
51:11 23/05/2022
Emily Koch on Sorrow and Bliss
Emily Koch talks about Meg Mason's hugely successful novel Sorrow and Bliss, currently shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. We also talk about her own award-winning novels and the extraordinary story of how she found her agent.
47:01 09/05/2022
Robert Garnham on Myles Before Myles
The poet Robert Garnham – aka Professor of Whimsy and Bard of Exeter – talks to me about Myles Before Myles, the collection of Flann O'Brien's early work. We also talk about his own career in performance poetry and his unexpected brush with fame as creator of one of the Edinburgh Fringe's greatest one liners, as well as the genius of Laurie Anderson and Ivor Cutler.
50:13 04/04/2022
Beth Miller on The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾
The novelist Beth Miller talks to me about Sue Townsend's classic The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, as well as the strange world of tribute acts and how difficult it is to get a funny book published these days.
50:16 21/03/2022
Cally Taylor on My Sister, The Serial Killer
The bestselling novelist Cally Taylor talks to me about Oyinkan Braithwaite's "My Sister, The Serial Killer" and her own work - including the difference between plotting and pantsing, switching genres and keeping up with a schedule of writing a book every year.
48:58 07/03/2022
Andrew Male on The Extra Man
The journalist Andrew Male joins me to talk about Jonathan Ames's The Extra Man and his own work at Mojo magazine and elsewhere.
48:24 14/02/2022
Karen Jones on One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night
Karen Jones discusses Christopher Brookmyre's hilarious thriller One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night, as well as her own work as a writer and judge of short stories and flash fiction.
51:20 06/12/2021
Jane Lovering on Northanger Abbey
Award-winning author Jane Lovering discusses Jane Austen's surprisingly contemporary novel Northanger Abbey, and identifies her as the inventor of Chick Lit. She also revisits a decade-old interview with unexpected results.
50:33 16/11/2021
Scott Pack on The Wise Men of Schilda
Publishing legend Scott Pack discuss Otfried Preussler's The Wise Men of Schilda and its unexpected modern day parallels. He also talks about why no-one takes comic literature seriously and the future of publishing in general.
58:27 25/10/2021
Imran Ahmad on The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy
The writer Imran Ahmad discusses Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well his own work, including the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed memoir Unimagined (aka The Perfect Gentleman).
56:14 20/09/2021
Ian Moore on Aunts Aren‘t Gentlemen
The comedian and writer Ian Moore discusses PG Wodehouse's Aunts Aren't Gentlemen and his own work with me.
46:55 06/09/2021
Dan Brotzel on Who Moved My Blackberry™?
The writer Dan Brotzel discusses Lucy Kellaway's Who Moved My Blackberry™? and his own work with me.
52:04 26/08/2021
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch on The Family Pack
The comedy writer Gabby Hutchinson Crouch discusses John Hegley's The Family Pack and her own work with me.
53:31 09/08/2021
Polly Hall on Me Talk Pretty One Day
Polly Hall, writer and podcaster, discusses David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day and her own work with me.
54:15 26/07/2021
Chris Fielden on Mort
Chris Fielden, writer, literary competition organiser and drummer, discusses Terry Pratchett's Mort and his own work with me. Features slightly louder intro music than usual.
50:49 12/07/2021
Lucy Flannery on The Eyre Affair
Lucy Flannery, award-winning writer and RLF consultant fellow, discusses Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair and her own work with me.
51:16 28/06/2021
Andy Miller on Last Chance to See
Andy Miller, co-host of the Backlisted podcast and author of The Year of Reading Dangerously, discusses Douglas Adams's Last Chance to See and his own work with me.
67:25 14/06/2021
Neil Laurenson on Starter for Ten
Neil Laurenson, author of Exclamation Marx!, discusses David Nicholls's Starter for Ten and his own work with me.
49:26 01/06/2021
Paul Flower on Catch-22
Paul Flower, author of The Great American Cheese War, discusses Joseph Heller's Catch-22 and his own work with me.
51:40 17/05/2021
Katy Darby on How Not to Write a Novel
Katy Darby, novelist, creative writing tutor and Liars' League supremo, discusses Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark's How Not to Write a Novel and her own work with me.
66:01 04/05/2021
Chris McCrudden on Emotionally Weird
Chris McCrudden, author of the Battlestar Suburbia series of comic science fiction novels discusses Kate Atkinson's Emotionally Weird and his own work with me.
51:21 19/04/2021
Abbie Headon on Cold Comfort Farm
Abbie Headon, Bookseller Rising Star of 2018, editor, writer, TikTokker and all-round publishing good egg, discusses Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm and her own work with me.
59:08 06/04/2021
Lev Parikian on Heartburn
Lev Parikian, conductor and writer of erudite and witty non-fiction, discusses Nora Ephron's Heartburn and his own work with me.
61:45 22/03/2021
Isabel Rogers on 1066 And All That
Isabel Rogers, award-winning poet and author of the Stockwell Park Orchestra series, discusses Sellar and Yeatman's 1066 And All That and her own work with me. Featuring guest appearance by Zig the dog and an unexpected diversion into the music of Anton Bruckner.
52:15 08/03/2021
Toby Frost on Lucky Jim
Toby Frost, author of the Space Captain Smith series, discusses Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim and his own work with me.
80:47 22/02/2021
All about "It's Lit But Is It Funny?"
This is the trailer for "It's Lit But Is It Funny", which tells you everything you need to know about it in 169 action-packed seconds. Come for the jaunty theme tune, stay for the nuanced literary debate.
02:48 03/02/2021