I had been booked a 20 minute slot to talk to Terry Deary which is pretty much the norm when it comes to celebrity interviews. They are talking to you to promote whatever it is – their book, play, film and you are just another name on their list.
All you have to do is ask the questions and it’s in the bag. They are happy, their agents are happy and so are you.
But with the author of the Horrible Histories I was uneasy. I didn’t know what to expect. His reputation goes before him.
I know he is prone to making outrageous comments and certainly doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Was he really going to want to talk about the Horrible Christmas show at Derby Theatre?
Well the answer was yes – he was the epitome of a gentleman and was only too happy to wax lyrical about the fantastic show the city can expect this Christmas.
“It’s not a panto though. Let’s be clear on that,” he said.
“There are references to pantomimes in it, excerpts in fact, but that’s as close as it gets to being like a pantomime.
“It is an adventure story during which we learn about the Victorians and Tudors and how they celebrated Christmas and the differences and similarities between then and now.”
What’s on offer is a journey through history but with mince pies and mistletoe.
It is Christmas 2013 and something is not quite right. In fact something is hideously, hopelessly, horribly wrong.
All the presents are beneath the tree when a fat old man slides down the chimney and nicks the lot. Can this be the real meaning of old Saint Nick?
But by chance one small boy spots the snatcher and sets off to save Christmas – from wartime austerity to Tudor cruelty back to Herod’s massacre of the innocents and the Dark Ages. Can Christmas be saved for the world?
“It’s gruesome and gory and it is quite spectacular with 3D effects and computer generated images which all heighten the excitement,” said Terry.
“Everyone should go and see it because a theatre which is full is a very nice place to be,” he added.
Having got the purpose of the interview out of the way though Terry lived up to his controversial self and made certain that his views on the education system, the monarchy and aristocracy were recorded.
In a nutshell he believes the first needs reforming so our youth is not short-changed and the latter two just need to be abolished.
“I want to change the world. I see it as my job and I don’t care how I do that.
“It is the duty of all righteous men to make war against privilege,” he said defiantly.
Well I guess as he was generous enough to talk to me about the stage show the least I could do was pass on his final message.