Julian Clary’s hyena tale brings lots of laughs to children’s festival

Wednesday 21 October 2015

WEB Book signing

Growing up in Teddington, comedian Julian Clary used to speculate that the rather hairy family who lived down the road weren’t really humans at all, especially when he heard their loud, shrieking laughter.

A few decades and leaps of imagination later, these neighbours are immortalised in Julian’s first book for children, The Bolds, about a family of hyenas living normal suburban lives in Teddington with a nice house, proper jobs and two children. The characters are brought vividly to life in the book by the illustrations of David Roberts.

At an event sponsored by The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), during the final weekend of Ilkley Literature Festival, Julian and David introduced their audience to the Bolds through conversation, readings from the book and live drawing. There was plenty of audience participation as children called out ideas which David transcribed into a hat for Mrs Bold before their eyes, and had the chance to ask questions at the end.

Asked about the ideas for the book by an audience member, Julian said: “It’s all about my own family – my parents laughed all the time. Probably when you’re writing you write about your own life, so it came from being a child myself. It was refreshing to enter a new world and write for children.”

The event at the Kings Hall Ilkley was part of the Children’s Festival, sponsored by GSAL. This is the fourth year of the partnership between Ilkley Literature Festival and GSAL.

Simon Ashberry is on the board of directors of Ilkley Literature Festival. He said: “The development of the Children’s Festival in recent years has been a core part of the festival’s overall success. The partnership with GSAL has been invaluable in allowing us to continue our great work with young people.”

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