COMEDIAN Julian Clary spoke to more than 100 schoolchildren at the Christ Church Centre on Wednesday, writes Jamie Presland
COMEDIAN Julian Clary spoke to more than 100 schoolchildren at the Christ Church Centre on Wednesday, writes Jamie Presland.
The 57-year-old, best known for his bawdy humour, was in a more family-friendly mode as he talked about his children’s book series The Bolds. The books follow a family of hyenas who dress in human clothes and move to Teddington in London.
Clary said he first got the idea from his neighbours while growing up in the area.
He said: “I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up so I used to make up stories. A very hairy family lived next door to me and one day they were out in the garden all laughing and it was a loud cackling laugh. I came up with the idea that they weren’t really humans, they were hyenas in disguise!”
Clary read extracts from the books and was joined by illustrator David Roberts, who demonstrated how to draw some of the characters.
Pupils from several schools in the town attended the talk and were invited to become involved.
The children were asked to suggest items to include in a picture of a hat, leading to ideas such as palm trees, a toilet bowl and even a paintball gun. They then created a made-up animal which comprised the head of a pig, the body of a giraffe and armadillo and a dragon’s tail.
Clary, who began his stand-up career in the Eighties, couldn’t resist cracking jokes. He teased one pupil who came up to the stage to offer him a piece of paper by saying: “Please don’t touch me.”
He also made light of Roberts’s accent, saying: “David speaks differently from the way we do because he’s from a place called the North of England. Don’t be alarmed.”
Clary also commented on the floral displays in Henley.
He said: “It’s lovely to be in a town with so many hanging baskets — there must be one for every resident!”