Actor Matthew Baynton will narrate the audiobook of 52 Times Britain Was A Bellend by James Felton.
Sphere snapped up comedy writer Felton's "painfully funny history of the Britain you were never taught at school". In her first acquisition for the Little, Brown imprint, senior commissioning editor Emily Barrett bought world rights to 52 Times Britain Was A Bellend. The book will be published on 17th October in hardback, ebook and audiobook.
The audio edition will be read by Baynton of "Horrible Histories", "Ghosts" and "The Wrong Mans" fame.
Featuring black and white illustrations, 52 Times chronicles 52 of the "most ludicrous, weird and downright shocking things we Brits have done to the world since time immemorial – and then conveniently forgotten all about, of course," said Sphere.
Felton, who has more than 100,000 Twitter followers, said: "With half the country screaming how great we are and how we need to go it alone, what better time to take a look at what we actually do when we're left to our own devices. The Brexit debate has become a proxy war about who we are as a people. Are we the Hitler-killing lone wolf saviours of the world the Brexiters paint us as, or the backwards small-minded racists remainers seem to think? Our history has the answer (or at least I hope it does, because that’s what the book is about)."
Barrett added: "I’m keen to curate a wide-ranging gift and humour list from various talented authors in my new role, so I’m utterly delighted that this is my first commission at Sphere. James has been making me laugh (and also cry) on Twitter for years and this book is as razor-sharp and side-splitting as his tweets are. Considering how frustrated and disillusioned a certain half of the country currently is, this autumn is the perfect time to be publishing. It’s also about time someone lifted the lid on some of the more ridiculous things Britain has been responsible for, considering how much we still applaud ourselves for being on the winning side of the World Wars. Thank God for James, who not only readdresses the balance in this book, but – like all the best comedians – manages to do so in a way that’s funny instead of soul-destroying."
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