Friday, 16 October 2015

Nerdversity Reviews: Jon Holmes - Portrait of an Idiot (As A Young Man)


Event: Lichfield Literary Festival
Price: £10

Before we get into the crux of the event, a little information about Jon Holmes. Many people might not know who he is. Jon is a multi-award winning writer, broadcaster, journalist and comedian. He was worked with the likes of Armando Iannuci, Graham Norton, John Culshaw, Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis and so many more besides. 

He has been on BBC radio, XFM, Radio X, written for many TV series including Dead Ringers and Horrible Histories.


As for the event itself, it took place in a church hall and was with an intimate audience of around 20 or so people. His book, Portrait of An Idiot, came around after he was filling in a form for his daughters and it asked for his detailed medical history. It was a question that he admittedly couldn't answer as he himself was adopted. Born to an unnamed mother and unknown father, he was given up for adoption at just four weeks old. As a result of the form, Jon decided to document his own life story and history, so that one day he could pass it onto his children, although he later said they're banned from reading the book.

The book is a story of how boys grow into stupid men. Stories of sexual misadventure, being accidentally shot in the face, spiders, ghosts, being locked in a toilet with an Oscar winning screen writer, American Road trips gone wrong, a fatally injured gerbil, being removed by Margaret Thatcher's security and having loving parents who bought up a child that wasn't theirs. It also serves as part memoir, part hilarious insight into how an unwanted baby in the Midlands became the most wanted man in Texas and how he gained the largest fine in British History and everything else in between.

The book is available from all good bookshops and Amazon for around £12.

Although I was unable to get any recordings from the event, the show was an hour long. Well put together and had some great anecdotes from Jon about his life and career that spans 30 or so years, as well as his travel work for The Times and The Guardian here in the UK, as well as about his writing work and how the comedy industry worked.  There was a chance at the end for the audience to ask him questions about his career and then he was signing copies of his book at the end of the show.