Mel Giedroyc on her novel, comedy partner Sue Perkins and feeling fierce in her fifties

Virgin Radio

3 Apr 2021, 11:01

The television presenter, comedian, actress and author joined the Graham Norton Radio Show with Waitrose to talk about her novel, her trusty sidekick Sue Perkins and learning not to care so much now she's passed 50.

Mel told Graham about the protagonist in her novel: “Sally Parker is our heroine and she is living life to the supersized max. 

"She is married to a hedgefund manager Frank, life is tickety boo. She’s got loads of children, loads of dogs, she's got a beautiful hairdo and an amazing walk-in wardrobe. Everything is going swimmingly or is it? In a nutshell, they lose everything, 

"Everything gets stripped away, all the material goods, their house, everything gets taken away, and it’s a story about how this family come together, how they get to know each other.

"They haven't really properly known each other because they've been insulated by this crazy wealth. It’s a comedy - hopefully people will find it funny.

“There'll be some laughs along the way but there's a slightly thoughtful thread running through it; if we can't be defined by our bling and our status and our money then actually what are we underneath it all?

On finally getting round to writing it, she said: “I was probably in my 20s and then did that slightly embarrassing thing when you tell your friends that you're going to write a book.

“It’s thirty years later! It's so embarrassing. I got to the age of 50 a couple of years ago and I just thought, Look, I've just got to do this, I've been banging on about this for so long and it felt like the right time to do it.”

At 52, she’s become much stronger within herself. She explained: “I felt, I'm 50, I don't care what people think about me anymore. I’m a bit more comfortable in my own skin. I don't say confident but you just feel a bit more like actually it doesn't really matter and it's quite liberating. 

“I felt the pressure was on a bit but once I got into it I lost myself totally. I loved it. I really loved it.”

On the huge plus-side of having a comedy partner to bounce off, she said: “If you're having an off day, if the brain isn't quite kicking in as it should do, then you can always rely on the other person. 

“And if the other person is Sue Perkins, odds on, her brain is always in gear.

“You have each other's back. If the chips are down, then it's great to be able to just laugh it off with somebody else. I couldn't do it on my own.”  

The Best Things is out now