Paperback

Published: Lightning Books (November 2021)

ISBN: 9781785633072

Staggering Hubris

Josh Berry

£8.99

The memoir of Boris Johnson’s most classic spad:

The ’Rona Years, Vol. 1

‘A pitch-perfect send-up’ Evening Standard

Unless you’re a woman on Tinder between the ages of 19 and 30 in the Clapham area, or a high-end cocaine dealer operating in South West London, you probably won’t have heard of Rafe Hubris, BA (Oxon).

Despite that, he’s a crucial figure in the life of our nation. As Boris Johnson’s most classic special adviser (spad) at Number 10, he helped the UK government skilfully and efficiently control the Covid crisis, containing it for good by the end of 2020.

In the first of what will doubtless be many memoirs as Rafe travels his own inevitable journey to the premiership, this fly-on-the-wall account documents his Year of ’Rona in its entirety (and iniquity).

Even non-Oxbridge readers (for whom the author has taken care to keep his language as accessible as possible) will come away from this volume struck by how lucky we are to have him. Floreat Etona!*

*Note for non-Oxbridge readers: this means ‘May Eton flourish’ in Latin.**

**Latin is the language of Ancient Rome and its empire.

OUT NOVEMBER 2021. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

Extracts

Wednesday 1 January 2020

I wake up feeling more fucked than all of Boris’s marriages.

The spad New Year’s party last night, which I have already termed ‘Chango Unchained’ on our WhatsApp chat, was a masterclass in intoxication and debauchery. Everyone got stuck in, even Poppy, who can sometimes be a bit of a wetty. We skied across tables and drank till we were no longer able; I must have got through at least a whole bottle of Perrier-Jouët from the helmet of Lettie’s family’s suit of armour before we all piled into an enormous game of conjugation imbibition. For the uninitiated, conjugation imbibition is a drinking game where participants pick a Latin verb at random out of a hat and have to conjugate it within thirty seconds or face a punitive shot of port. It’s my favourite of all the drinking games because in addition to infallibly ensuring that everyone gets absolutely binned, it also allows you to weed out and evict state school alumni who have sneakily infiltrated your social group but cannot conceal their lack of Latin.

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Extracts

Wednesday 1 January 2020

I wake up feeling more fucked than all of Boris’s marriages.

The spad New Year’s party last night, which I have already termed ‘Chango Unchained’ on our WhatsApp chat, was a masterclass in intoxication and debauchery. Everyone got stuck in, even Poppy, who can sometimes be a bit of a wetty. We skied across tables and drank till we were no longer able; I must have got through at least a whole bottle of Perrier-Jouët from the helmet of Lettie’s family’s suit of armour before we all piled into an enormous game of conjugation imbibition. For the uninitiated, conjugation imbibition is a drinking game where participants pick a Latin verb at random out of a hat and have to conjugate it within thirty seconds or face a punitive shot of port. It’s my favourite of all the drinking games because in addition to infallibly ensuring that everyone gets absolutely binned, it also allows you to weed out and evict state school alumni who have sneakily infiltrated your social group but cannot conceal their lack of Latin.

In all my twenty-four classic years on this Earth I’ve never seen a group of people so collectively hammered. And who could blame us? 2019 was a year to celebrate!

We overcame Corbyn and his Bolshevik revolution and successfully duped the northerners into thinking we care about them (lol) to win an enormous election victory; Brexit is in the oven/defrosting/ready to be put in the microwave at some point and we have Boris at the helm.

Sadly, no Boris last night. He’s off with some woman in the Caribbean; the man is incorrigible! But on a serious note, I can think of no one better to lead us into 2020. 2019 was excellent, but I get this feeling in my gut that 2020 will be even better and that I will inevitably play a pretty significant role (hence my decision to start this diary, which I imagine will act as a sort of political highlight reel, like the ones Sky Sports do but for the corridors of power).

I open my WhatsApp chat campaign for 2020 with the pithiest of zingers: ‘I’m hanging more than the Sword of Damocles.’ Sharp wit with an intellectual foundation in ancient Rome, I start the year as I intend to go on: vary wall.

quotes

‘A pitch-perfect send-up’

Evening Standard

reviews

‘A neat and perfectly observed skewering of not just the current administration, but the culture of over-familiar, self-important special advisers too’

Daily Telegraph

extras

‘Every time a political gaffe occurred in 2020, up popped Josh Berry as the insufferably entitled Rafe Hubris, BA (Oxon)…’ Josh is profiled in the Daily Telegraph.

ABOUT

Josh Berry

Josh Berry is a stand-up comedian, satirist and writer. He started his career in comedy with great success as an impressionist, doing voices on Dead Ringers, The Tracey Ullman Show and The Now Show at just 22 years old.

In 2018 he took his debut tour Voice Thief, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since developed a touring show, Josh Berry: Who does he think he is?.

He is now best known for his many satirical characters, most notably Rafe Hubris (BA, Oxon), the parody government advisor character who became a sensation during lockdown and has accrued well over 20 million views across social media.

His show Josh Berry’s Fake News was nominated for Best Comedy Podcast at the National Comedy Awards 2021.

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