Fictional interview with Nick Hornby by Lukas Hämmerle, Q 11
Tom Tucker: Hello and welcome everyone out there to today’s episode of ‘Ask An Author’ with Tom Tucker here on BBC News 1. After public idols like Joanne K. Rowling or Stephen King, our guest today is none other than the great screenwriter and author Nick Hornby. Give it up for him, here he is!
The audience cheering and applauding enthusiastically.
T: Thank you very much for coming to our TV-show tonight.
Nick Hornby: Thanks for the invitation, Tom.
T: So, Nick… Am I allowed to call you Nick?
N: ‘Course you are.
T: Brilliant. Nicky, before we start, I have a personal question, which I’ve been wondering about since I’ve heard of you.
N: Go ahead!
T: Have you been bullied at school because of your name?
N: Nick? What’s wrong with it?
T: No, the other one. (giggling)
N: (confused at first) Ah, I see your point. You mean because of ‘horny Hornby’ and so on… Oh God, I hated those jokes. Yeah, you’re right, I’ve been bullied at school for a pretty long time. When I was about twelve years old, it became worse because my mum and dad decided to divorce and I had to visit a new school in London.
T: Ah, and we’re right into the topic. This reminds me of your novel ‘About a Boy’, doesn’t it? (blinking into the audience)
N: You’re right. I wanted to express my personal pain in this opus. Marcus actually reflects my self-perception at that really hard time after my parents had divorced.
T: So you were a kind of nerd, too?
N: Fucking hell, I was the worst of them all!
T: (laughing) And what about Will? Is there also a real-life original?
N: Well, there was this friend of mine, Simon, who was nearly six foot tall when we finished elementary school. I don’t know if giants have ever lived on our earth, but if so, Simon is definitely one of their descendants. The funny thing is, regardless of his physical height, mentally he was and still is the most childish person I’ve ever met.
So I decided to adjust Simon’s age to his size, and Will was born.
T: And are you still friends today?
N: Fucking hell, yes! He’s sitting over there. ‘What’s up Simon buddy?’
Simon: (somewhere in the crowd) Couldn’t be better, Horny!
N: (grinning) “Of course, Simon is childish, but never the less, he helped me not to go crazy when my mother had those mental problems, you know. He was with me in my darkest hours, and he still is.
T: So, could you say ‘About a Boy’ is a, I don’t know, kind of a biography of your own life?
N: It is!
T: Well then, thank you so much for coming, Nick, and say hello to your mum from old Tommy.
N: I will!
T: Ladies and gentlemen, this was Nick Horny! (giggling again)
The audience gives a thunderous applause.
Interview by Tom Tucker, first appearance on BBC 1, Nov. 16th 2020