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Harry Thompson: Sad news...

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#1 · Posted: 25 Aug 2005 21:47
Fellow Tintinologists may be interested to know that Harry Thompson, the author of "Tintin: Hergé and his Creation" (1991) has been long-listed for the Booker Prize for his new novel "This Thing of Darkness", which I thought was an extremely good read.

Unfortunately earlier this year he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. I've been debating with myself whether to post this news for a few weeks now, but given that he's being very open about it in the press I suppose it hardly constitutes a breach of his privacy. I'm sure we all wish him well.

#2 · Posted: 26 Aug 2005 12:14
Oh hell... this is devastating news. I don't know how many times I've read his Tintin book, but it's a very grubby copy. Thanks for passing it on though, Ed.
Moderator Emeritus
#3 · Posted: 26 Aug 2005 18:31
That's true - it's very upsetting. I agree, thanks for passing it on Ed, I suppose it had to be done.
#4 · Posted: 27 Aug 2005 00:10
He was on TV the night before last talking about it, and his up-beat attitude was remarkable; I just wasn’t certain it was the same Harry Thompson, or I would have posted about it too.
Harrock n roll
#5 · Posted: 31 Aug 2005 17:34
I saw a news report too on BBC News 24 about his nomination for the Booker Prize which mentioned his medical condition. It's terribly unfair given that Harry Thompson doesn't even smoke.

I believe Tintin: Hergé and his Creation to be the best biography on the subject. The good humour he injected into it makes it a highly enjoyable read, even for the non-Tintin fan.
John Sewell
#6 · Posted: 8 Nov 2005 12:11
I just saw this on the Guardian newspaper's website:

Top TV comedy producer dies

John Plunkett
Tuesday November 8, 2005

TV comedy writer and producer Harry Thompson, whose credits included Have I Got News for You, Da Ali G Show and Monkey Dust, has died, aged 45.
One of the most successful comedy producers of his generation, Thompson was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in April. He died last night, having married his long-term girlfriend Lisa Whadcock earlier in the day.

Thompson was responsible for 93 episodes of Have I Got News for You and 100 editions of sporting panel show They Think It's All Over. He also wrote and produced Da Ali G Show, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. His other credits included Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Harry Enfield and Chums, and Newman and Baddiel in Pieces.

One of Thompson's latest creations was Monkey Dust, a dark satirical animated series for BBC3 and BBC2. He also wrote his first novel, This Thing of Darkness, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize.

Talking about his illness in June this year, Thompson said it was "like a really big hard bastard has invited me outside the pub, and when I get there I find he's brought two of his mates who want a fight as well".

"He was one of the country's most prolific and legendary comedy producers," said Thompson's friend and colleague, James Herring. "The impact he made on TV comedy was immense, and he will be greatly missed by many."

Thompson joined the BBC as a trainee in 1981 and worked as a researcher and occasional joke writer on BBC2's Not the Nine O'Clock News. He joined BBC Radio as a comedy producer in 1984, and produced Radio 4's long-running News Quiz and The Mary Whitehouse Experience, which launched the careers of Rob Newman and David Baddiel.

Thompson moved into television in 1990 as a freelance producer, where he launched Have I Got News for You. He left the show in 1996 to work on other projects. He also produced the pilot shows for Channel 4's 11 O'Clock Show.

As well as his television commitments, Thompson wrote biographies of Peter Cook, Richard Ingrams, and Tintin creator Herge. This Thing of Darkness was the first of a two-book deal with Hodder. He also contributed to national newspapers and was nominated for travel journalist of the year in 1995.

Until I read this, I had no idea that he'd worked on so many great TV shows. A very sad loss, especially as he was only 45 :(
#7 · Posted: 8 Nov 2005 14:58
This is horrible news. Ah well... *
#8 · Posted: 8 Nov 2005 18:08
I had no idea he had done so much, his book on Tintin remains one of the best written in English

Moderator Emeritus
#9 · Posted: 8 Nov 2005 20:53
This is extremely sad news ... I don't really know what else to say. I agree with Rik, his book is certainly one of the best, if not the definitive work in English on Tintin.
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#10 · Posted: 8 Nov 2005 23:08 · Edited by: edcharlesadams
This is terrible news and a cruel blow to the world of Tintin. His writing was incisive, thoroughly well researched and always very witty - reflecting his background in comedy. On the two occasions I met him he was accommodating and kind. I am especially sad for his two young children.

An article from the BBC news website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4417656.stm


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