Dom Joly – Cheltenham Literature Festival REVIEW

As I have recently started living in Cheltenham whilst studying Journalism, I though it only made sense that I took advantage of the Literature Festival. Sadly I could not convince anyone to come with me so I went along one evening with my notebook tucked under my arm and a sign above my head saying “I am new here”.

I really was going into the show blind, I didn’t know what to expect or even if I would like Dom Joly. I knew of him and his work but was mainly curious of all the parts about him that I didn’t know, hense why I bought the ticket. What I was faced with was entirely a pleasant surprise, he came across as a happy go lucky guy with a real laid back attitude which was reflected in his stories he told of his time in the limelight.

Most of you will know Dom Joly from his original programme “Trigger Happy” or from his later appearances on shows such as “I’m a Celebrity”. However he was at the festival promoting his latest book, an autobiography of his second half of his life or as he liked to say the part when he “stumbled through show business”. He claims to have been extremely lucky with his opportunities but after succeeding in areas such as international relations and politics, researching, journalism and producing he was well known amongst many.

Through many of his various jobs he learnt how to manipulate the media and knew what caught their attention, for example making fun of politicians during important speeches, “satire without the satire” as he called it. It was clear he still had all these skills whilst being interviewed by the journalist on stage and being asked questions by the audience. To me he came across as in control of the situation, and despite being very open with the audience even about things such as his depression, he managed to steer the conversation in the direction he wanted allowing him to drop in plenty of his favourite anecdotes from his book. My favourite of which was a simple one, in which he had bought a pig and a hot air balloon. Correct, he wants to take the pig in the hot air balloon.

His anecdotal stories, adorably dopey moments and his down to earth family man persona make him an all round relatable and humble yet inspiring man. I will be looking out for more of his work in the future.

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