One of the things enjoy about living here is the proximity to Bath, and the chance to enjoy the Bath festival of Literature every March, and the Bath Festival of Children's Literature every September.
This years BathLitFest started on Friday, and Saturday morning saw me heading into the city to see Jennifer Saunders, talking about her autobiography, 'Bonkers'.
As might be expected of a comedian, she was a very funny and entertaining speaker. She talked about her background, growing up as an air-force child, moving around the country, and of her childhood ambitions to become a three-day eventer.
She dismissed the suggestion that she and Dawn French didn't initially get on, commenting that they simply didn't know one another to start with, when they first met at college.
She spoke a good deal about her habit of procrastinating, describing the increasingly implausible excuses she and Ruby Wax sent to Goldie Hawn when they were supposed to be writing a film script for her - Saunders described how she was, eventually, flown to New York to finish the script, and planned to write on the lane, except, as she explains, one of the effects of having been in Absolutely Fabulous is that flight attendants all assume that she wants to be drunk on champagne all the time, and appear with glasses of champagne on every flight (and of course, she commented, they're right..!), so she arrived with the script still unwritten..
She claimed to have been effectively locked into Hawn's apartment to finish writing, and then to have been taken to see The Lion King afterwards "like a good child".
In response to questions from the audience, Saunders confirmed that she would like to do some panel shows "They have to have women on them now, it's the law!" and that she was less scared as she got older "Once you're past the menopause, you don't care. You just see them all as little boys" And that she will be hosting 'Have I Got News for You'. I shall look forward to that!
She also confirmed that she'd like to be involved in writing another musical, except for the music parts, which are tricky, that there is to be ab Fab movie, and that she feels lucky to have worked with so many friends, and to have become friends with so many people she's worked with.
It was a highly entertaining hour, (and at the end, Jennifer's whippet, Olive, came on stage with her while she signed copies of her book)
I'm not in a position to attend any other Bath Lit Fest events this year, but if I could only see one, I'm glad it was this one!