Father Ted creator to publish spoof Dominic Cummings diary

Faber to release Arthur Mathews’s satire on controversial British government adviser

Dominic Cummings: subject of a new satire by Arthur Mathews. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Dominic Cummings: subject of a new satire by Arthur Mathews. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

 

Faber is to publish a satirical spoof Dominic Cummings diary written by the Father Ted cowriter Arthur Mathews.

The Cummings Files: Confidential – Thoughts, Ideas, Actions by Dominic Cummings is “an illuminating collection of diary entries, notes-to-self and crumpled Post-its”, according to the publisher. “We reveal what’s really going on in the Cummings brain.” It will be published on October 29th.

“Dominic Cummings has a lively mind,” the blurb explains. “He is constantly thinking; planning; coming up with big ideas. During a time of momentous events in Britain (Brexit, a general election, the Covid 19 pandemic) the government’s chief adviser has been writing down his thoughts – in diaries, blog posts, Post-it notes and any scrap of paper he can find.

“Discovered in an abandoned backpack on a train (was the government’s chief adviser breaking the lockdown regulations for an unnecessary journey? Surely not), we reveal the intriguing contents.

Arthur Mathews. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Arthur Mathews. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

These include: the full story of those trips to Durham (he travelled up every weekend – once on a horse and cart); his plans for a biopic of Otto Von Bismarck (starring Sanjeev Bhaskar); the contents of his 1995 Russian diary (which he planned to destroy); what happens when you hit Michael Gove over the head with a pencil; his close relationship with the prime minister (and reaction to his death when given wrong information by Matt Hancock).”

Mathews was first approached about writing something Cummings-related in early March, but did not feel then there was enough material. “That position has changed somewhat,” he said. “It’ll be a fun read with a not necessarily totally accurate portrayal of actual events.”

As well as the cult sitcom Father Ted, which Mathews wrote with Graham Linehan, his writing credits include the musical I Keano, with Michael Nugent and Paul Woodfull, and the sitcoms Paris, Toast of London and Hippies. His books include Well-Remembered Days: Eoin O’Ceallaigh’s Memoir of a Twentieth-century Catholic Life and Notes from a Lost Tribe: The Poor Ould Fellas, written with Declan Lynch.

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