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Books

The greatest sitcom that never was

A review of Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby. Subtle but unashamedly populist, Hornby's latest is a fan letter to the great 70s comedy writers

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

Funny Girl Nick Hornby

Viking/Penguin, pp.352, £18.99, ISBN: 9780670922802

Funny Girl is the story of the early career of the vivacious, hilarious Sophie Straw, star of the much-loved BBC situation comedy Barbara (and Jim), the television programme that ran for four series in the mid-1960s, helped define its era and, crucially, does not exist. The imaginative kernel of Nick Hornby’s new novel is a classic Sixties British sitcom somewhere between Marriage Lines and Till Death Us Do Part, starring the sort of person who rarely received top billing in such shows at that time: a bright, beautiful and naturally funny young woman.

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