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Nicholas Corder poses with his favourite aspidistra, shortly before relieving Lady Smith.
Channel-swimmer, Olympic fencing champion and matinée idol, Nicholas Corder has had work rejected by BBC Television and Radio, Oxford University Press, several major producing theatres and Miss Jackson, his Geography teacher (“Call this a map? It looks like an explosion in a crayon factory!”)
His life in tatters when chronic catarrh cut short his days as a virtuoso Polynesian nose-flute player, Nick took up the ukulele in a desperate bid to force his neighbours to move. It worked, within weeks they had put their house on the market and the Noise Abatement Society moved in with a chloroform-soaked rag.
As his chances of becoming an international footballer are now fading, his ambition is for the next best thing: to be caught dogging on Cannock Chase.
Somehow manages to crank out a book a year covering a wide range of topics, including crime, fiction, plays and even books on how to write, which is about as hypocritical as you can get.
He is married to the tinned artichoke heiress, Pauline, to whom he owes everything, but is paying her back at the rate of £3.27 a week.