The number one non-fiction read that made John Cleese and Danny Wallace laugh and Terry Wogan and Richard Briers cry. If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again… A family's 8,000 miles round Britain in a Vauxhall Astra they were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40, so when Ben and Dinah saw the advert looking for a husband and wife team with young kids to write a guidebook about family travel around Britain, they jumped at the chance. With naïve visions of staring moodily across Coniston Water and savouring Cornish pasties, they embark on a mad-cap five-month trip with daughter Phoebe, four, and son Charlie, two, embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes.
Ben Hatch's latest novel is called THE P45 DIARIES: How To Get Sacked From Every Job in Britain. Currently being developed as a BBC sitcom, and a former BBC Radio 4 Book of The Year, it was previously titled The Lawnmower Celebrity and is based loosely on Ben's woeful experiences of his teens and 20s when his dad thought he was an oaf.
Ben was born in London and grew up there, in Manchester and also in Buckinghamshire, where he lived in a windmill that meant he was called Windy Miller at school for years, though he's not been scarred by this experience at all. He now lives in Brighton with his tiny wife Dinah, and two children, in a normal house. He likes cheese and is balding although he disguises this fact by spiking his hair to a great height to distract people he wishes to impress.
Ben (who is actually writing this and pretending to be someone else)has written for The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express among other newspapers. Previously he wrote ROAD TO ROUEN: A 10,000 Mile Journey In A Cheese-filled Passat that was a Number One bestseller and ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? 8,000 Miles Round Britain In A Vauxhall Astra, a BBC Radio 2 Book of the Year, and also a Number One bestseller. It is also under development as a film by Island Pictures.
Ben is the tallest Hatch who ever lived (5ft 9in) and is the son of Sir David Hatch, the radio performer and producer whose shadow Ben doesn't at all feel under. He also maintains that he knows the cure for the common cold (tweet him at @BenHatch to find this out) and that one of his relatives was John Couch-Adams who discovered the planet Neptune. Apparently, his aunty told him.
Many years ago his novel the International Gooseberry was published by Orion. It was about a hapless backpacker with a huge ungovernable toenail. It was described as "hysterical and surprisingly sad" by the Daily Express. Ben Hatch was on the long-list of Granta's 2003 list of the most promising 20 young authors in the UK, but missed out on final inclusion possibly because of the toenail stuff. In association with his wife Dinah, he has also written three guidebooks for Frommer's.
You can visit Ben Hatch at https://www.facebook.com/BenHatchAuthor although his page is a bit rubbish.