Doctor-turned-comedian-turned-TV director/ producer-turned novelist, Evans is probably best known as the creator of shows such as Father Ted, The Kumars at No. 42 and Have I Got News For You? She is at the LitFest wearing her novelist’s hat, but even tying down her literary output is tricky: she has written both for children (Small Change for Stuart; Wed Wabbit) and for adults, with bestselling titles such as Their Finest Hour and a Half (released in 2016 as a film, Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin) and Crooked Heart.
Then in 2018 came Old Baggage. It is the story of Mattie Simpkin, a former suffragette who, in the words of one review, “is a creation as amusing as she is blinkered and egotistic”. Set in 1928, suffrage has finally been extended to include all women over 21. For many of her gender, the campaign is won, yet for Mattie, “the battle is not yet over; every day brings fresh skirmishes”.
In an age of continued wage imparity and #MeToo, few modern readers would argue with her. Old Baggage has already become a word-of-mouth favourite.