Perhaps it was the relatively early hour or maybe the relentless drizzle that has set in at Hay, which kept people in their beds. The Barclays Wealth Pavillion was only about half full for the writer who famously as a comedian was the first with Rob Newman, to sell out at Wembley.
Nevertheless a pack of press photographers dashed to the front of the stage and drew Baddiel’s fire “are you going to be here the whole time it’s fucking distracting”.
He was here principally to talk about his new novel ‘The Death of Eli Gold’. Eli is the survivor of a suicide pact with his fourth wife (it’s on the flyleaf so I’m not spoiling here). Another of the central charachters is Eli’s 44 year old son, Harvey. Aaronovitch is quite disparaging about Harvey; Baddiel reveals that many people on Twitter have said that Harvey is much like the the author, an observation with which he clearly does not entirely disagree. The book, from which the author reads, is compassionate, complex, awkward and amusing.
Baddiel is intelligent and funny (and so is Aaronovitch) and this was a highly entertaining session. The missing half of the audience unquestionably missed out.