Sessions

How Nigel Farage, Cancer, a Rescue Dog and Trump changed me into an author

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A few years ago, Mike Dicks – variously a digital media expert, television producer and umbrella inventor – hijacked the 1960’s TV show Trumpton and turned it into a parody of UK politics. Specifically, the rise of populist politicians like Nigel Farage.

Posting a daily joke became an obsession for Mike and, after a perfect social media storm, a community of other parody accounts popped up and some 20,000 followers became a demanding audience.

Then Mike got cancer.

His doctor, a German, was determined to get him better to continue the stupid jokes. Mike moved to Brighton to recuperate and got himself a dog, Scrabble, to make him exercise. Finding Scrabble’s behaviour perplexing, Mike started telling daily, illustrated jokes on Facebook and Twitter that tried to explain it. Making daily political jokes and daily dog poo jokes, although enormously rewarding creatively, was not making Mike any money, until last May, when a publisher wrote to Mike’s dog and offered her a book deal.

A year on and Mike has a top selling book (if you filter Amazon in the right way), a sequel launching in May and, after creating his own American cast of ‘Trumpton like’ characters, a book deal for his Mr Trump cartoons.

You will learn very little from this presentation that William Caxton and Charles Dickens didn’t already know, but you’ll leave thinking that you too could, one day, be asked for your autograph by your Mum.

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