r Horsing around


Bored with reading dull books to his kids, Harry Hill set out to create the un- adventures of a very small nag called Tim. Kelly Apter collars the comic.

icky (ieryais. (‘harlie Higson. Nigel Planer: many a British comedian has deviated into the

world ol‘ children‘s literatttre. Yet none of

them seemed quite so born to it as Harry Hill. The question wasn‘t so much il'the man who created the 'Badger Parade~ and Stoul'l‘er the (‘at would write a kids book. but when. In true Hill style. Tim the Tiny Horse is lull oi surreal non-sequiturs. Twelye short chapters written and illustrated by Hill. in which Tim tries to e\perience a hitherto untapped side of life. Attempts at a career in radio. TV and reality teleyision are all seyerely hindered by his height appro\imate|y two inches. Whereas watching the news. snacking on a Hula Hoop and hanging out with his friend l-‘ly' are well within Tim‘s grasp.

Hill was inspired to create his equine hero al'ter

growing weary of the books on his own children‘s .sltelyes. ‘l jllsl got a bit tired of reading Noddy book's where nothing much happens.‘ says Hill. ‘I know kids low that because it's pure escapism. but my idea was to create some modern dilemmas. Life isn‘t always about big adyentures‘. it‘s often about little small titt- adyentures like watching a yideo.‘ Simple but el'l‘ectiye. the illustrations add much of the humour to Tim's tales. And although this is the first time Hill has drawn an entire hook. his work has been in print before. an occasion which ~ despite the comedy and TV awards that followed must remain one of his

proudest moments. ‘I got a cartoon in the ll'lii::er

(HUI ('lrips~ when l was about ll.‘ says Hill. ‘I was paid 75p for it.‘ A landmark event for any child. But despite that

26 THE LIST 5—19 Oct 2006

early payment. drawing has been more or a therapeutic practice than a money-maker oyer the years. 'I‘ye always done drawings and cartoons. really as just a kind of‘ outlet.‘ says Hill. "But it was quite different doing it to order for the hook. It‘s one thing to do a few little doodles to amuse yourself. but haying to do that amount really did stretch me quite a lot..

Hill had better keep his drawing hand in good shape. as it seems Tim‘s ‘un-adyentures‘ are far from oyet‘. Haying disctissed the meaning of' life with My. made a demo tape and surfed the internet. there are still many more hurdles for the wee horse to jump. ‘There‘ll definitely be a l'ollow-upf assures Hill. 'l'm not sure what. but it‘s the sort of thing where you could haye Tim going on holiday. with ten stories about the problems he encounters.'

As well as haying an obyious appeal for children. Tim the Tiny Horse will ineyitably attract an adult following from Hill‘s existing fan base. With references to Big Brother. Anna lord and annoying cold callers interrupting your bath. he is obyiotisly catering to both young and old. Did he picture a target age range for the book‘.’ 'Not really. l'ye neyer had a target audience for anything. because if’ you start aiming things at people. nine times out of ten you miss it. You don‘t know what people like. all you know is what you think is good.‘

Tim the Tiny Horse is out now published by Faber; Hill appears at Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 1 1 Oct.

llit >l<


* William Boyd The Ghana- born, Gordonstoun-educated author is here to punt his new tome. Restless. which features a female spy in WW2. Queen '3 Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 6 Oct.

# Gordon Brown It's been quite a few weeks for the Chancellor and things won‘t get much calmer as the race to be PM looms. Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 8 Oct.

at Margaret Atwood Canada's queen of letters gets entangled in Moral Disorder. her new book of ten stories. which features the likes of siblings, teachers and animals. Queen ’3 Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 10 Oct.

3 The 10th Edinburgh independent Radical Book Fair AL Kennedy, Bernard MacLaverty and Bashabi Fraser are among those being radical this year. Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Edinburgh, Wed 11—Sun 15 Oct.

* Elaine Feinetein The poet. biographer and novelist pops by for an evening of chat and readings. Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, Wed 17 Oct.

* Harry Hill The big-shined iapester gets his kids book out there at last. See preview, left. Faber; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 1 1 Oct.

* Gordon Burn Not only one of the finest sports books of 2006, Best and Edwards is a clear highlight of the whole literary year as two of British football's legendary figures are dissected in life and death. Faber.

8 Richard Dawkine Test any last remaining droplets of faith you may have as the science guy goes gunning for religion in The God Delusion. See review, page 27. Bantam.

* Fabio Moon 8- Gabriel as The comic world’s twin collaborators bring us De: TALES. stories of boys and booze done with a hearty dose of magic realism. See review. page 28. Dark Horse.