Friday, June 29, 2018

My hero / Louise Rennison by Philip Ardagh

Louise Rennison in 2004


My hero: 

Louise Rennison by Philip Ardagh

Philip Ardagh remembers the author who died this week. ‘Her laughter will live on through the pages of her very funny books. She was a class act’


Philip Ardagh
Fri 4 Mar 2016

I
have shared a stage with young adult author and comedian Louise Rennison a fair few times over the years, in the UK and in Ireland. I’m also proud to have been a judge for the Roald Dahl funny prize in 2010, which she won with the very funny Withering Tights. Rightly or wrongly, she’ll probably be best remembered for her book Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging. When it became a film, it was retitled Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging because, Louise delighted in telling me, “they were worried about the full-frontal bit”.

Louise was the only fellow children’s author I’ve ever met who always seemed to have a glass of beer next to her on her signing table, regardless of the time of day. One of my fondest memories was when I chaired an event of hers at the Edinburgh book festival. We’d agreed beforehand that I’d simply top and tail her talk: introduce her at the beginning; sit in the audience; thank her at the end. No real preparation required on my part. She arrived at the authors’ yurt just five minutes before she was due to go on. “I’m pissed,” she said. “Interview me after all.” So on we went and I did interview her and, as always, she laughed at her own anecdotes – along with a delighted audience – and, as always, she ended up Irish dancing across the stage.
Once, when visiting her publisher’s, I followed her instantly identifiable laugh and found her holed up in one of their offices – not quite a prisoner – to ensure, as best they could, that she met her next deadline. And she was prolific. So, greatly saddened though I am that she died, far, far too young, on 29 February, there is comfort in the fact that her laughter lives on through the pages of her books. She was a class act and one funny lady.
THE GUARDIAN





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