The Picnic

Life for me (I’ve said this before so forgive me if you’ve heard it), is – I cannot deny it – pretty much a picnic. As with most picnics there are the occasional wasps. The wasps and their aggravation and nuisance are real, no point denying that, but life is nonetheless a picnic. If I yowl from time to time when stung, that cannot take away the pleasure of the view, the goodies in the hamper and the charming company. Namely – you.

So, apologies if my presence is becoming all too much – I shall do my best to hide when Penguin’s publicity push is over – a new series of QI running for another 15 weeks notwithstanding. And if you are one of those who is kind enough to buy the book or to attend one of the events, thank you. If you are one who is annoyed that my tour has stayed so resolutely to the south of England and the metropolis, apologies … I will try and put that right next year. If you are annoyed because you can’t find the app or ebook in your local American or other store it is because of copyright laws. The book is published in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking territories, but not the US. That’s not my law, I’m afraid, but somebody else’s!

Now. I must go. Have to do a phone interview…

x Stephen

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23 comments on “The Picnic”

  1. Flynnly says:

    Good luck with the book, the shows and the round of interviews. I’m sure you need fear no wasps here, all of us devour the Fryisms we read, see and hear with gusto.

    It always strikes me as a curious thing that creative people are often such very sensitive souls. Living and/or working in the public eye can’t be easy and I don’t think it’s something I could do without a great deal of trepidation and pain. I wrote a PhD thesis which took me many, many years to complete. The proverbial blood, sweat and tears invested in the work were significant and letting that thesis free for marking and the subsquent viva were truly terrifying. I can only imagine setting a manuscript free is a similar feeling for the writer. Indeed, that it applies for any material that is destined for public consumption at some point.

    Ten thousand praises would be drowned out for me by a single, negative comment. I always admire both your bravery and vulnerability and I’m damned sure I could never do what you can do. A gathering of more than two people is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.

    I suppose the creative process is something of a need, something that is at once intensely personal and yet immeasurably pleasurable when shared and enjoyed by a wider, like minded audience. I foresee and hope for many, many more years by the picnic hamper! :)

  2. jdhunt says:

    Looking forward to the book. Chin up, some of us enjoy and admire everything you do.

  3. nonoyesyes says:

    Hello Stephen. I am sure that along with a multitude of your fans, we all appreciate it so much that you are able to open up and be so real with us, about what it is like experiencing ‘fame’ and all that goes with it, from both sides of the fence.
    I know all about the Almighty Press and the surge that is required to have an impact on the world at large, and it is part and parcel of all that goes with the necessity of ”arriving” once you have something accomplished something that must be then promoted and made well known.
    My best wishes to you for a sane, pleasant journey from the start of this promotion, till you reach it’s conclusion: may you reap the benefits of all your hard work; you certainly have earned that picnic.
    And for those occasional wasps – I will send you some ‘wasp spray’!….

  4. Fryphile says:

    You are the BEST. WHORE. EVER. Because you snuggle when it’s all over, instead of reaching for the mouthwash and money. I look forward to living vicariously through the #Fluffettes as they dribble heated honey of love onto your rigid nipples of literary excellence.

  5. Chris Miller says:

    Congrats on Washpot 2.0, can’t wait to read it.

    You have to ignore the haters, but it might help you (and, in a very real sense, me) to start some sort of program to foster aspiring writing talent in the UK. An X factor for the literati, without the eliminations or prime-time gawping. It could temper criticisms of your presence in the limelight, and give others the chance to follow you there.

    Naturally if it focussed on helping people with a history of mental illness that would be ace, since it is the most almighty critic as you well know.

  6. matthewoconnor says:

    I have the book – I HAVE THE BOOK! Alas, my 2 year old is asleep in the buggy so I can’t get it without waking him up. I can see it, though. I can see the stripes on his socks from here.

    I am very excited about this.

  7. lynnduffy says:

    Stephen – I’m waiting with bated eyes for my delivery of the Chronicles, and am re-reading Moab is my Washpot for the first time in several years in preparation. Looking forward to next Monday evening at the Albert Hall too!

    I dare say that after that I will be well sick of you, but you’ll have had all my money. :)

  8. Pamela says:

    Well, what a convenient thing for me. Having just recently finished the first installment of your interesting life via Moab, I am well and truly primed to read more. Of course, living in this wasteland deemed unworthy by the British publishing gods, I shall have to resort to clever spelunking to find my copy, but there you go. I am up for the challenge.

    Pay no attention to the men behind the curtains. If they say something negative, it will be out of jealously, pure and simple. At least that’s what my mother always told me.

    I wish you great success!

  9. Love_Kingdom says:

    Pretty much agree with what Fryphile said! I’m looking forward to meeting you in Oxford this Saturday, and in the meantime, good luck with the gigs at RAH!


  10. nrepka says:

    Good luck with the gigs, dear sir! I will follow them closely through reports from my nauseatingly lucky friends. The book is in the mail, I am sure it is brilliant as ever. I just wish the copyright issues resolve themselves; and we get our turn for your book tour in the US. You have written it here, after all… :) x


  11. lutemama says:

    Unbelievable that the copyright laws here preclude you from being published in the US! Gads…I may have to order directly from the UK since I don’t know how long I can wait to read your latest!

  12. Twirrim says:

    Oh those silly copyright people, and the publishing media.

    How long will it take them to learn that they only thing they’re doing is hurting themselves and their clients by restricting releases to countries? All it does is encourage piracy in an age when people can get what they want pretty much however they want. It’s like releasing major movies months or weeks apart from one continent to the other.

    You can stand there and quite honestly say “They shouldn’t be stealing” and I’d agree with you, but it’s not something you can Police effectively, and in this case clearly shows that something is obviously not right with the business model. There is clearly a demand for it, and clearly profits to be made that way.. so why are they being fools and standing on the sidelines instead of jumping in with both feet and getting their hands on as much money as they can?

  13. tracey mitchell says:

    wether famous or not every one gets stung once in a while, be a damned boring world if every body likes the same shit…. you cant “hide” once its over im afraid you being out there is doing way to much for bipolar awareness fer ya to “hide” ;-) such is the price of fame siiigh ;-) if ya really need a break though i guess we could grant ya a little hiatus, but we reserve the right to pout about it.

    PS get yer butt to dallas please im stuck over here and need a taste/fix of my homeland

  14. AnCBeck23 says:

    I agree with nrepka; we would love, love, love to see you do a book tour in the U.S. if it is at all possible. Can’t wait to read this new book. I’m sure it is just brilliant. :)

  15. andrew40 says:

    In 2008 you took time out, on an extremely busy filming schedule to film a message to a young fan who was in a vegetative state after emerging from a coma. Your message was beyond that anyone would normally expect and contained stories and anecdotes that would entertain most, but above all encouragement to reach the dark recesses of ones consciousness!

    She did step into “your bucket” and against all odds, emerged from “the well of her consciousness smiling”. She continues to improve but will suffer long term immobility. Her biggest challenge is communication and reading “tweets”, stories, articles to her stimulates her mind as do individual messages from people she once cherished, worshipped or simply enjoyed.

    We will be buying your book and wonder if you would sign a copy for her, so that we can read your story, interact, and enjoy the emanating smile that it is sure to supply from someone who dares to push boundaries, provide inspiration to others and be admired by those she once admired!

    Your ever loving servant, on behalf of Sophie Wilkinson – @sophiewilkinson

  16. Lilly-Pond says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Bloody Nora, do you never rest !

    In actual fact, nobody can “slap you down”. You are “unslappable”…..and much loved. x

    Lilly x

  17. Sassyb says:

    Just finished reading The Fry Chronicles on my fancy new iphone 4. Loved the book, not too sure about the app (my big fat fingers found the wheel a bit hard to navigate).
    Was most moved to read about the depths of your self-loathing, as someone who often feels the same about herself, and who, at the same time, admires you greatly I found it both reassuring and sad. If I were able to I’d give you a big hug (and then probably feel all weird about it as I usually do when I hug people I don’t really know very well…).

  18. erin_vertizart says:

    First time out of the lurkers corner!

    I can’t wait to find it here is Australia. Good luck with the wasps.

  19. ChoccyFish says:

    Continue your shameless whoring unabated! Looking forward to my birthday copy of The Fry Chronicles. And where would the TV schedules be without you? Most of the time the only programmes worth watching are re-runs of QI – unbelievably funny after dozens of repeats! And with the nights now drawing in, the new QI is desperately needed to spread a little sunshine (not to mention intelligence!)into the dreich and drear.

    You are so much loved and admired. Almost everyone I know when asked who they would most like to have as a friend seems to say YOU. Long, long may you flourish!


  20. Stefferweps says:

    Aww Stephen, don’t worry about the “wasps”, I personally think you’re doing a wonderful job. I am currently reading “The Fry Chronicles” and loving every minute of it, not to mention seeing you all over the tv and newspapers, as well as hearing you on the radio. It’s wonderful being able to see and hear more of you, I enjoy every moment of that too. It’s refreshing to listen to someone who is so modest about their achievements, and who is so willing to be brutally honest about all aspects of their life, there are many others in the public eye who would do well to take a leaf out of your book. You bring a little sunshine to my life, and that of many others, we’re more than happy to see more of you.

    I had the opportunity to see your live show being streamed to QFT in Belfast, I enjoyed ever moment of it. :) Maybe you’ll get an opportunity to come over and do a signing in Northern Ireland at some point, I know you have huge numbers of fans over here, who love and admire you. :)

    Like I said before, ignore the wasps, don’t let them get you down. Keep up the good work Mr Fry, you truly are a National Treasure.

    Much love and many big hugs,
    Stephanie x

    P.S. It appears the new series of QI is going to be equally brilliant as the ones prior to it. :)

  21. Nigel Cole says:

    Just got back from Royal Albert Hall – show was a sensation. Well done you!!!

  22. benperth says:

    Can’t wait to see you live on Thursday night!

  23. res ipsa says:

    I came all the way from Paris (granted, closer now to London than Surrey is during rush hour) to see your show on Monday! and blogged about the experience here:

    Thank you so much for an amazing evening. Sorry about the unauthorized paparazzi shot…

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