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Henry Normal: A Normal Family Book Launch

Join Henry Normal for the launch of his new book A Normal Family, and Art by Johnny, a collection of work by his son Johnny Carroll-Pell.

Johnny is nineteen. He likes music, art and going to the beach. He is also autistic – in his case that means he will probably never get a job, never have a girlfriend, never leave home. And over the last nineteen years this is what his father, TV producer and comedy writer Henry Normal and his wife Angela have been trying to come to terms with.

This is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by autism – it’s about the hope, the despair, and the messy, honest sometimes comical day-to-day world of autism, as well as a wonderful, warm book about the unconditional, unconventional love between a father, a mother and a son.

Johnny Carroll-Pell is a 19 year old artist who is diagnosed severely autistic. Published to coincide with the first major exhibition of his painting at the Phoenix Art Gallery in Brighton, Art by Johnny contains 100 pictures celebrating his art. The paintings and photos here are selected by his parents Henry Normal and Angela Pell, and Johnny is also the subject of several BBC Radio 4 shows, a couple of poetry books written by his dad, and the inspiration for the film Snow Cake written by his mum.

Henry Normal is a writer, poet, TV and film producer. In June 2017 he was honoured with a special BAFTA for services to television. Henry co-wrote and script edited the multi-award-winning Mrs Merton Show and the spin-off series Mrs Merton and Malcolm. He also co-created and co-wrote the first series of The Royle Family. With Steve Coogan, he co-wrote the BAFTA-winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan’s Run, Tony Ferrino, Doctor Terrible, all of Steve’s live tours, and the film The Parole Officer. Setting up Baby Cow Productions Ltd in 1999, Henry executive produced all, and script edited many, of the shows of its seventeen and a half year output during his tenure as MD. Highlights of the Baby Cow output during this time include Oscar-nominated Philomena, Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Marion and Geoff, Red Dwarf, Uncle, Nighty Night and Alan Partridge. Since retiring in April 2016, Henry has written and performed several BBC Radio 4 shows combining comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son.