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When pretty young TV researcher Nicky Proctor visits Cafe Henry in London's Soho, Henry Pratt's life changes forever. He becomes an instant star of the TV food quiz, A Question of Salt and before long he is given his own series, Hooray, it's Henry. The book of the series reaches Number Two. He's a celebrity. Henry Ezra Pratt has come a long way from his humble beginnings.
But, as usual in Henry's life, things begin to go wrong. He incurs the deep hatred of rival celebrity chef Bradley Tompkins, with his bad manners, bad wig and no Michelin stars. A war is waged against him, escalating into plots and deceptions which threaten to destroy the reputation and career of the man dubbed 'The People's Chef'. It must be Bradley behind all this - or must it?
On the domestic front, too, there are storms ahead. Henry is blissfully happy in his second marriage to Hilary, but he is sorely tempted by young Nicky and his lovely co-star Sally. Can he resist? Can he become a real man at last? Or will success spoil Henry Pratt for good...?
We last met Henry Pratt in The Cucumber Man. Pratt à Manger continues the hilarious story of a great British underdog.
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Alan and Ange are on a train, heading for London. Alan is a philosophy lecturer, still a virgin at fifty-five; Ange a twenty-something, horoscope reading, darts groupie. They certainly don't expect their first casual meeting to lead to anything, but it does. Seizing the day, as they pull into Euston station, Alan asks Ange out to dinner and so begins the unlikeliest of liaisons. As they get to know each other, they are initiated into each other's worlds. From the claustrophobic confines of an Oxford College to the heady excitement of a big dart's match; from Liebfraumilch to Wittgenstein and everything in between. They even travel to Rome seeing many wonderful things as Alan learns to live for the moment and Ange to appreciate the finer things in life.
But can they survive their differences in age and background? Are Alan's feelings the stuff of obsession and infatuation or is this true love? And what sort of philosopher is he if he cannot define and understand love?
Told through the voice of Alan, this touching and hilarious story is much more than a tale about an unlikely couple. Ultimately, it is a story about the nature of love.
As a small boy David Nobbs survived the Second World War unscathed, until his bedroom ceiling fell on him when the last bomb to be dropped on Britain by the Germans landed near his home. It was the nearest he came to the war, but National Service would later make him one of Britain's most reluctant soldiers. It was an unforgettable and often unpleasant experience.
As a struggling writer, David was catapulted into the thrilling world of satire at the BBC when he rang THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS with a joke and got through to David Frost, who sent a taxi for the joke. He never looked back. His greatness as a modern comic writer was confirmed by the publication of THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN, which he adapted into the immensely successful television series that has entered the fabric of British cultural life, through phrases, images and brilliant humour.
A mesmerising, beautifully told tale of life in writing and comedy, I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY is the hilarious, poignant and very personal story of David Nobbs' life, which also describes some of the most famous comedians of the last century and captures a golden age of British television.
Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is surely one of the best loved comedy heroes of our time, in both literature and television. This omnibus brings together the first three Reginald Perrin novels containing a lifetime's outrageous and hilarious adventures.
When we first meet Reggie, he is sick to death with selling exotic ices at Sunshine Desserts. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricites escalate to the extreme, until finally he leaves the unacceptable face of capitalism behind by driving off in a stolen motorised jelly. In his pursuit of the unconventional, he devotes himself to faking his own death, opening a shop devoted to selling completely useless goods, and setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged.
Join Reggie, who didn't get where he is today without some help from some memorable supporting characters, in one man's quest to avoid an everyday existence.
Kate Thomas was beautiful, intelligent, witty, passionate and sexy. Now, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine, she is trapped in a hospital ward of sad, mad and bad old women. She escapes by playing to herself the video of her life.
What a life it has been. Her six marriages have ended in suicide, a husband's adultery, another husband's deportation as a dangerous alien, a union dispute, a murder, and a natural death. But Kate's journey through the twentieth century is also a search for the truth - about life, death, and which of her three sons murdered her fifth husband.
This is a novel rich in memorable characters, from Kate's narrow but loving Welsh family to the wild members of an artists' colony in Cornwall; from Midland piston manufacturers to an investigative journalist whose own life cannot bear investigation.
Every time someone changes sex, there's one less freak in the world
Meet the Divots. They seem a happily married couple, in their cosy suburban home in a cosy suburban town. Then, one day, everything begins to change. Nick drops his bombshell. He wants to become Nicola. Alison is extremely upset, naturally. But she has more reason than most to be upset, because she has a secret too. She wants to become Alan. Nick has pulled the rug from under her. However, she's always been the supportive type and she'll wait her turn.
Will Nick become Nicola? Can Alison become Alan? Can both partners in a marriage change sex and save their marriage? What effect will this have on their children, the sexy Emma and the hi-tech loner Graham? There are dramatic changes in store for them too - and for Alison's father, Bernie.
In the spirit of David Nobbs' acclaimed novel Going Gently, Sex and Other Changes is a funny, touching and compassionate study of what being a man and a woman really means.
This hilarious sequel to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin follows his absurd trials and tribulations as he finds himself swept to fame and fortune.
THE COMPLETE PRATT compiles the first three volumes of the misadventures of Henry Pratt, beginning with a brilliantly funny evocation of a Yorkshire boyhood in SECOND FROM LAST IN THE SACK RACE; Henry's first job is as a cub reporter on the Thurmarsh Evening Argus, told in PRATT OF THE ARGUS, hailed by Sue Townsend as 'very funny'. Finally, in THE CUCUMBER MAN, Henry decides to take on a new role and a new challenge - working for the Cucumber Marketing Board in Leeds.
Stumbling through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, Henry accumulates marriages and children along the way and THE COMPLETE PRATT is a touching and hilarious ride through a divided Britain...
This hilarious episode in the remarkable exploits of Reginald Iolanthe Perrin follows our hero on his most ambitious venture yet.
Setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged, Reggie's therapy centre nurtures its clients, encouraging them to find the love and goodness that lurks deep inside.
And he's gathered together the unlikeliest of staff to help him- including C.J. (for people's work problems), David Harris-Jones (handling their sex problems), plus Tony Webster (culture), his son-in-law Tom (sport) and Doc Morrissey (psychology).
With a team like this, how can the indomitable, unconventional R.I.P. ever fail in his bid to create a Better World?
Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is sick to death with selling exotic ices at Sunshine Desserts. He's fed up with his boss C.J. who delights in making his life hell. And he's had enough of his eager young assistants who think everything is 'super'.
So begins Reggie's battle against consumerism. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricities escalate to the extreme.
Until, finally, he leaves behind the unacceptable face of capitalism altogether. Driven off in a motorised jelly, and creating the world's biggest loganberry slick on his way, he dumps his clothes on a Dorset beach and sets off for new adventures...