Stand-up comedian and comedy writer Benji Waterstones has landed a book deal to write about his work as a psychiatrist.
As Benji Waterstones, he has been performing stand-up for a number of years, including taking part in new act competitions including So You Think You're Funny? and BBC New Comedy Award in 2014. He is currently working towards his debut hour-long Edinburgh Fringe show in August 2021.
Meanwhile his day job is as an NHS doctor specialising in psychiatry, which he has a decade's worth of experience in. He has written for The Guardian and Independent and has also been featured in a list of 'Inspiring Psychiatrists' by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Publishers Jonathan Cape, which won the rights to his book in a nine-way auction, say: "You Don't Have To Be Mad To Work Here is a fly-on-the-padded-wall account of life as a junior psychiatrist. Humane, humorous, candid and myth-busting (spoiler: there are no padded walls), Benji Waterhouse reveals the reality of life on both sides of the doctor's desk. This is Benji's story of becoming a psychiatrist, of temporarily leaving the profession disillusioned, burnt out and compassion fatigued, and of finally rediscovering his empathy to return to help fight the pandemic afflicting the nation's lungs and minds."
Notably, film and television rights have already been sold in a deal with House Productions.
The publishers add: "Poignant, eye-opening and darkly hilarious, You Don't Have To Be Mad To Work Here introduces a major new writing talent."
Benji comments: "Recently the country has been getting through medical memoirs faster than hand sanitiser. But the psychiatrists have been quiet, until now. I'm excited to introduce readers to the newest, most controversial and least understood medical speciality. And to finally explain the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a psychic. The overwhelming interest received from publishers was encouraging for mental health, and to sign with Cape who publish so many of my literary heroes is very surreal."
Bea Hemming from the publishers says: "Benji's was one of the smartest, funniest, sharpest and most eye-opening proposals I've ever read. He brings a rare combination of wit and humanity to some of the most difficult aspects of what make us human. You Don't Have To Be Mad To Work Here will be a book that speaks with urgency and insight about the crisis of mental health and healthcare, while also introducing a brilliant storyteller."
Waterhouse becomes the latest comedian to combine his medical job with comedy. Dr Phil Hammond has fronted comedy shows for many years; Ed Patrick recently presented Radio 2 panel show Infectious Personalities; junior doctor Kwame Asante landed a Radio 4 stand-up show, The Placebo Effect; and Adam Kay became a best-selling author with his memoir This Is Going To Hurt, which is currently being adapted into a BBC Two comedy drama series.
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