HOW I MAKE IT WORK

WHEN IT CAME TO FUL­FILL­ING HIS LIFE-LONG DREAM OF WRIT­ING A BOOK, THE 41-YEAR-OLD CO­ME­DIAN TOOK IN­SPI­RA­TION FROM HIS BIG­GEST CHAM­PI­ONS: HIS JOY­FUL GRAND­PAR­ENTS AND ADORING SONS

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - as told to Al­ley Pascoe

Comic Peter Hel­liar’s grand­est ad­mir­ers.

Grow­ing up, I had very lov­ing grand­par­ents. They were re­ally hard­work­ing, de­cent peo­ple who were fun to be around – there was al­ways laugh­ter with them. I like to think they helped to shape me as a per­son. In my chil­dren’s book, Frankie Fish And The Sonic Suit­case, 12-year-old Frankie teams up with his grumpy grandpa to save the fam­ily from a time-travel dis­as­ter. My grand­par­ents were the po­lar op­po­site of grumpy.

I lost one of my grandads when I was quite young, around 10 years old. My dad al­ways says to me, “Grandie would be so proud of you and what you’re do­ing.” My other grandad was my big­gest PR agent. He’d be down at the bowls club, or in the nurs­ing home later in his life, spruik­ing me and mak­ing sure peo­ple watched me on TV.

One of my great­est mem­o­ries is watch­ing my grandad win a bowls cham­pi­onship. He said, “When I die, this tro­phy is yours.” I have the tro­phy in my of­fice at home.

When Nan passed away a couple of years ago, the whole fam­ily was around her. We cried to­gether and had some great laughs. Be­ing to­gether meant a lot. Nan got into her nineties and I was very ap­pre­cia­tive of the time we had with her, but there is still no es­cap­ing the sad­ness.

I’ve al­ways wanted to write a book. My mum says I al­ways had a pen and pa­per in my hand when I was grow­ing up. I’d write lit­tle sto­ries and they were re­ally my first foray into en­ter­tain­ment. One of my finest works was In­di­ana Hel­liar, a par­ody of In­di­ana Jones with all my friends from school as char­ac­ters. The other one was Me, The Sports Star, which was ba­si­cally me win­ning sports com­pe­ti­tions around the world.

I had come to the con­clu­sion that I was run­ning out of time to make a Pixar film for my kids be­fore they grew up. So when it came to writ­ing Frankie Fish, I was just thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity.

My three boys have al­ways been pretty in­spir­ing for my com­edy. They be­came a bea­con of ma­te­rial for the book.

I read the first chap­ter to my youngest son, Os­car, who’s eight, and he gave me the best re­view I could ever ask for. He said it re­minded him of [UK co­me­dian and au­thor] David Wal­liams. I was like, “Wow. I’ll take it. You might get on the front cover with that quote.” Frankie Fish And The Sonic Suit­case (Hardie Grant, $14.99) is out in March.

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