O'Farrell is one of the funniest things in Britain, funnier even than Prince Charles's ears. This delightful comedy finds Jimmy Conway, a likable nonentity who wants to be famous but lacks key ingredients such as actual talent, having a chance encounter with a famous comedian called Billy Scrivens just before Scrivens's death. At the funeral a reporter assumes Jimmy is a standup comic. Happy to be offered a little hors d'oeuvre of fame, he claims that he only does unannounced dates at tiny clubs and shuns publicity.
Of course, nothing invites publicity more than being called a mysterious recluse, and everyone claims they love Jimmy's nonexistent act. The resulting blizzard of newspaper articles celebrating his aloofness will strike anyone familiar with the London media as entirely probable. O'Farrell coats the ending with a layer of treacle but also supplies a genuinely stunning climactic twist that gives Jimmy just what he deserves.