HQ has snapped up rights to The Songaminute Man, an "inspirational" memoir of entertainer and "viral sensation", 80-year-old Ted McDermott, told by his son Simon.
Rachel Kenny, senior commissioning editor and Lisa Milton, executive publisher at HQ acquired world all language rights to the title from Mary Greenham at News Presenters Ltd. The Songaminute Man will be published by Park Row Books in the US and Canada.
The Songaminute Man tells the "remarkable" story of how Simon McDermott helped his father Ted, previously a Butlin’s Redcoat and a much-loved and talented entertainer, reconnect with his loved ones, rediscover his zest for life, and realise his dream of becoming a global music star after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, changing their fortunes in the process and "giving hope to people across the globe". Last night (1st November), Simon and Ted were awarded for their achievement and presented a Pride of Britain Award for Special Recognition.
The title will chart Ted McDermott’s "incredible" life against the backdrop of 40s Britain to the present day, from his beginnings in Wolverhampton – the eldest of 14 children – to the carpool video with his son Simon that went viral and the Decca record deal that saw Ted’s voice hit the airwaves at the grand age of 80.
Simon McDermott said: "Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that driving Dad to the supermarket and having a singalong would make such a huge difference not only to his own life, but to so many other people around the world. Since the video went viral we have received thousands of messages from across the globe - many of which describe how Dad's voice has brought so much joy and inspiration - especially to those families who are also dealing with a loved one's dementia. Being the eldest of 14 children and working as an entertainer for a number decades, Dad has had a rich and varied life with hundreds of stories to tell. It's my privilege and duty to be able to tell it for him at a time when he can't do it himself."
Kenny said: "This is real home-grown, feel-good, true-life story territory, perfect for Christmas gifting. With the evocative nostalgia of 40s to 80s Britain on the one-hand, a touching snapshot of a lifelong father-son bond on the other, plus a nod to modern technology’s amazing ability to take that snapshot and use it to inspire and move millions – The Songaminute Man has huge cross-generational appeal and mass-market potential. On top of that, Simon and Ted were just last night announced as Pride of Britain award-winners, and we in turn couldn’t be more proud to have them on HQ’s thriving non-fiction list."
Milton said: "With a joyfulness that is catching, The Songaminute Man reminds us of the importance of family and making memories. Simon and Ted have not only done this for their family, they have also already raised significant funds for Alzheimer’s Society. It will be an honour to share Ted’s story far and wide. It’s a story of life, love and most of all making dreams come true."
The Songaminute Man will be published in Autumn 2017 in hardback, e-book and audiobook.