Al Murray plans Thackeray doco

Bicentenary of his famous ancestor

Al Murray is hoping to make a landmark BBC documentary about writer William Makepeace Thackeray, his great-great-great grandfather.

The comic wants to make the film to mark the bicentenary of the birth of the Vanity Fair author in July.

He told The Independent his illustrious ancestor was 'a fascinating character, with a love of gambling and prostitutes, but said that he had only recently taken an interest in his work.'His life was amazing. He was a journalist really, a Grub Street hack in the finest sense,' said Murray, an Oxford history graduate who this week announced a BBC Four show about 19th Century German art and culture.

'I didn't read any of his stuff until quite recently. I read Vanity Fair about 10 years ago, but I've read a lot of his journalism, The Yellowplush Papers, The Book of Snobs and a lot of the Punch writing. I prefer it. Things like The Virginians and Pendennis are extremely heavy going.'

Published: 29 Oct 2010

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