WHAT BOOK would actor and children’s author Ben Miller take to a desert island? 

WHAT BOOK would actor and children’s author Ben Miller take to a desert island?

  • Ben Miller is currently reading Powerhouse by Brian MacNeice and James Bowen
  • He would take The Crying Of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon to a desert island 
  • Children’s author said The Brothers Grimm first gave him the reading bug

. . . are you reading now?

I’m reading a doorstop called Powerhouse by Brian MacNeice and James Bowen, about how Mike Ovitz and Ron Meyer set up the deathstar of actors’ agencies in Los Angeles, Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

It’s a mosaic of interviews, and I just got to a quote by the producer Joel Silver: ‘Sly [Stallone] was royalty. He was so much larger than life. Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody, was like Sly in that era.’

I am worried that when I stand back the mosaic will be of the devil.

Ben Miller (pictured) revealed that he would take The Crying Of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon to a desert island

. . . would you take to a desert island?

Life on a desert island is tough, if the three years I spent on Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe filming the BBC’s Death In Paradise is anything to go by. So something really hefty, because I’m not going to read it, I’m going to use it as kindling. To boil land crabs. So maybe Powerhouse.

Of course if Lauren Laverne calls me up for Desert Island Discs, I’m going to give a very different answer. The Crying Of Lot 49, maybe, by Thomas Pynchon, or The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Something that makes me look good. But which I probably wouldn’t enjoy as much.

…first gave you the reading bug?

It definitely wasn’t the Fluff And Nip educational series that we read at school, which was painful.

I’ve been doing a bit of online schooling with my daughter, Lana, who’s in reception. She’s learning to read, and I’m here to tell you things haven’t got much better: we are still trying to instil a love of reading through the medium of fiercely dull stories. Luckily my parents were English teachers, so we had lots of great books at home. Like a lot of children, I loved fairy tales. The Brothers Grimm were a particular favourite: their creepy stories inspired my new children’s book, The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale.

…left you cold?

I am a great unfinisher of books. I have never, ever walked out of a film or a play, but if a book hasn’t grabbed me after three chapters I’m happy to add it to the mountain of unread material beside my bed.

I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I read a lot for my work, so if I’m reading for myself, I want pure unadulterated pleasure. Right now I’m listening to Peter Crouch reading his How To Be A Footballer and loving it.

The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale by Ben Miller is out now (Simon & Schuster £12.99)

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