Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tony Hawks to N about [...]; Leaving London for Life in the West Country Has Been an Adventure for Tony Hawks - and Great Comedy Fodder for His New Book, as the TV Funny Man and Writer TELLSHANNAHHANNAH HANNA STEPH HENH SON

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tony Hawks to N about [...]; Leaving London for Life in the West Country Has Been an Adventure for Tony Hawks - and Great Comedy Fodder for His New Book, as the TV Funny Man and Writer TELLSHANNAHHANNAH HANNA STEPH HENH SON

Article excerpt

Tony hawks Ton about his new life COMEDIAN, broadcaster and writer Tony Hawks had never thought of himself as a country bumpkin.

Five years ago he was living the bachelor life in London, pursuing a TV, radio and stand-up career, writing books and appearing on shows such as Have I Got New For You? and Just A Minute.

Today, he's living in rural Devon with his partner Fran and their one-year-old son Arlo and, while broadcasting is still high on his agenda, the move has given him plenty of humorous material for his new book, Once Upon A TimeIn e West... Country.

"I've nally done what everyone else did years ago," the 54-year-old explains. "It wasn't a mid-life crisis. It was driven by a sense that it felt like the right next step.

"Whenever the sun came out, I never wanted to be in London. I wanted to be somewhere I could be closer to nature."

" It all started when he met his partner Fran in 2010 at the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction event, for which his book, Playinge Moldovans At Tennis, had been A nominated 10 years previously.

She was a mature student of biomedical imaging, and they were introduced by mutual friend Ian Hislop. e couple lived together happily in London, until Tony had the idea of moving to the country.

e light-hearted book charts his eorts to integrate into the local Devon community, embarking on an organic gardening course, tractor rallies, village fetes, bingo calling and even a hazardous charity cycle ride with a micro pig.

But it was when attempting to break down his newly created compost heap by urinating on it - he'd heard urine was a good 'activator' for the process - that his worst nightmare struck.

"Suddenly there was an excruciating pain in the end of my penis. I looked down to see a wasp had settled on the end of my 'Right Honourable member', and o it now ew, no doubt with the wasp equivalent of a smug grin on its face," he recalls.

Today, he laughs at the thought of the swelling when he ran himself a tepid bath to try to relieve the pain."

" Being accepted by andtting in with the locals was easier than he'd anticipated.

"I don't know whether there was a little bit of excitement over this bloke who's coming to the village who's vaguely known and is occasionally on TV, but certainly, everyone's been very nice. And if you get involved and are prepared to do a bit of work on behalf of the local community, then you're well accepted."

He and Fran also have two sets of lovely neighbours, including retired builder Ken, who seems to solve all immediate problems, frequently volunteering to help out.

Two of Tony's previous books - Round Ireland With A Fridge and Playing e Moldovans At TennisA - have both sold more than a million copies and been made into lms, and he's now doing more literary festivals, which he enjoys. …

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