Andi Osho is writing a novel about a stand-up comedian

Friday 23rd April 2021, 4:40pm by Jay Richardson

  • Andi Osho is writing a loosely autobiographical novel. Tough Crowd will be out in June 2022
  • It focuses on Abi, an open-mic comic dating a man with two kids from a previous relationship
  • Osho says the book is "a fond farewell to my days on stage"
Andi Osho.

Andi Osho is returning to stand-up... kind of.

The erstwhile comic hasn't regularly performed live since 2015. But her loosely autobiographical second novel, Tough Crowd, focuses on an aspiring comedian.

Published on the 23rd of June next year by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, the book tells the story of Abi, who has always been told that she's too much but never felt like she is enough, until she meets Will, who changes everything.

However, Will has two daughters from a previous relationship. Abi is used to playing to difficult audiences, but winning over the girls and step-parenting is going to be her toughest gig yet.

"Having been in a relationship with a single dad, I can testify to what a profound, challenging and illuminating experience it can be" Osho told publishing trade website The Bookseller. "Tough Crowd is about all that and I hope it goes some way to dispelling the myth of the 'evil stepmother'."

Currently starring in BBC One cop drama Line Of Duty as Gail Vella, Osho has signed a deal with HQ for a third book, following publication of her debut, Asking For A Friend, in February. And it doesn't sound as if she will be returning to live comedy anytime soon.

Her latest novel is "also a fond farewell to my days on stage" she added. "In Tough Crowd, readers get to enjoy the insane ups and downs of life as an open-mic comic, all from the safety of their own homes!"

She is currently on the book's first draft she told Richard Herring on his RHLSTP podcast, released Wednesday. Expanding on her reasons for quitting stand-up, she said: "It is a hard life... It's not just about being good at the job. There is so much more to it that is not just about being on stage.

"And I was, if I'm honest, feeling quite uninspired by the industry, in the sense of what was possible for me. And it's not to say what people are doing isn't interesting but when I saw that path... I was just like, that's not enough for me."

Osho, whose television credits include Live At The Apollo and being a regular on Stand Up For The Week, sung opera on BBC One for Comic Relief in March, with fellow comedians and opera novices Jennifer Saunders, Caroline Quentin, Jayde Adams and Alex Brooker. She told Herring: "I don't want to bounce from panel show to panel show to panel show.

"Even though that's great work obviously and hugely entertaining for people it just wasn't right for me. I think stand-up is a craft and I wanted it to be an art form almost, the Richard Pryor relationship with it... there were loads of opportunities thrown in my path and I kept biting at them and they were taking me down this weird path that I didn't want to go down."

World all-language rights to Tough Crowd were acquired by Katie Seaman, senior commissioning editor, from Richard Scrivener at the Creative Rights Agency, in partnership with talent agency Victoria Lepper Associates.

Seaman said: "It's been a joy to see Andi's debut novel Asking For A Friend really resonate with readers. Andi is a natural storyteller. She writes relatable characters and relationships with such honesty, warmth and wit, for truly entertaining reads that women of all ages can enjoy. I can't wait to publish Tough Crowd next year - it promises to be the laugh-out-loud hit of the summer - and see Andi's star continue to rise."


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Andi Osho - Tough Crowd

Andi Osho - Tough Crowd

Aspiring comedian Abi has always been told that she's too much but never felt like enough. Until she meets new boyfriend Will who changes everything - he loves her just the way she is. But Will is a package deal and comes with two daughters from a previous relationship.

Abi is used to playing to difficult audiences but winning over the girls and step-parenting is going to be her toughest gig yet.

First published: Thursday 23rd June 2022

  • Publisher: HQ
  • Pages: 384
  • Catalogue: 9780008430986
  • Publisher: HQ

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