Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The  judging is done for this years Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

But my lips are sealed until 20th September when the short list  will be officially announced. 

(Still can't believe I won last year, so it's a HUGE privilege to 
take part again).

There were many marvellous books on offer and I enjoyed reading and discussing them with my fellow judges who are: 

Lucy Mangan - Excellent journalist with regular columns in The Guardian (this weeks column is about being a judge)- Stylist magazine and writer of several very funny books herself.
Mel Giedroyc - Presenter- writer - comedian- actor -currently presenting The Great British Bake Off and all round lovely person.
Ed Vere-  Award winning illustrator - writer - painter. Working with Tiger Aspect on an animation of his wonderful book The Getaway. Ed's picture book was short listed for last years prize.

Michael Rosen-
 Where do you start? Past Children's Laureate - writer - performer- presenter and all round witty - informative and fabulous chairman of the Funny Prize.
Michael has an excellent new book out himself,
Fantastic Mr Dahl - which I now have a signed copy of.

On Monday we went to the Roald Dahl Museum for a judges day out.
HILARIOUS from the start, we piled on to a train where Michael kept us informed at every station of places he went to school/doctors/lived and generally frequented. 

Mel then added an excellent nugget of information about Chorleywood - being 
 the birth place of sliced white bread - fascinating and all true. 

 Here's some pictures from the day:

Photos were taken for evidence

Our tour around the museum was really interesting.

Natasha - a journalist from The Sun has done a piece
to go with the publication of Michael's book.

Love this...

My attempt at being creative.
Mel was recording a 4'oclock show for Radio 4 extra about the prize. She chatted to us all about the books and process of being judges. The programme will go out some time around the 20th September. Though I'm guessing it might take that long to edit, as we were laughing and scraping our chairs a lot (which wasn't very helpful for the - very patient - sound recordist).

Trying to record.

Ed reading a REALLY very funny book.
Lucy trying out Roald Dahls chair.

Press pictures of the judges enjoying ourselves.
 Roald Dahl kept the top of his hip bone
after an operation on his desk - just about where Ed sat.

Mel expertly eating cake.
Bloody marvellous it was too.
It's a funny book honestly.

Roald Dahls grave with giants
footsteps leading down from a bench.

Roald's second wife's daughter, who died suddenly,
very young, is buried next to him.
(Born the same year as me.)
Not sure why people leave money and
club biscuits on his grave?

The benches have Roald Dahl's
children's names on them
along with this engraving in the stone.

The overall prizes are announced in November after the

children have had their say too. I think we've come up with a great list of really funny books in both ages categories for boys and girls. There was surprisingly little table thumping - raised voices or snivelling which was a relief. Especially to Claire from Booktrusted who has looked after us all SO well throughout the whole process. Thanks Claire!

This was last years event with all the other authors and illustrators. 

Talking of funny things...went for a last swim (for a while) and saw someone had put a pair of trunks on Queen Victoria's head. Sadly... I was amused.

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