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Penpal to the stars

11 September 2006

A collection of hilarious spoof letters written by a Bristol graduate will be the ‘stocking filler of the year’ according to the publishing industry’s oracle, The Bookseller.

A collection of hilarious spoof letters written by a Bristol graduate will be the ‘stocking filler of the year’ according to the publishing industry’s oracle, The Bookseller.

Duncan McNair’s The Morello Letters: Pen Pal to the Stars follows in the long tradition of prankish correspondence, as pioneered by Lazlo Toth, Henry Root and more recently Robin Cooper’s Timewaster Letters.

Duncan began writing the Morello letters to the great and the good, and everyone else, over 10 years ago. He read them out loud with their replies for fun to his numerous nephews and nieces, whose parents asked him to send them more for themselves and their friends.

Mr Morello is a slightly confused, pear-shaped 45 year old Italian immigrant living with his plump wife Mrs. Morello and three children – Tosti, Amphora and Rizzo – in that most salubrious of London suburbs: Ealing. As a family, they share a curious fondness for all things British and yet by dint of their Italian heritage, struggle to come to terms with some of our more esoteric characteristics. As such, the ever-inquisitive Mr. Morello, a fastidious and prodigious letter writer, takes it upon himself to correspond with the great institutions and individuals of our fine nation – from Tony Blair, The Lord Chancellor, Richard Branson, and the Archbishop of Canterbury to Gordon Ramsay and The Bank of England, The Guild of Professional English Butlers and Debenhams to Arsenal Football Club – in an attempt to have his seemingly endless list of quandaries answered by the experts and, at times, in vain attempts to secure employment for his idling children.

These letters, composed in Mr Morello’s English-Italian hybrid vernacular, and the plethora of responses, are laugh-out-loud funny. Jon Snow described them as: ‘The funniest collection of spoof letters I have ever read’. Robin Wells, Book Manager for WH Smiths, said: ‘I have never come across such hilarious material. I have never laughed so much.’

The Morello Letters: Pen Pal to the Stars will be published 2 October 2006, priced £9.99.

Visit www.morelloworld.com to find out what’s happening in the Morellos’ world and read some sample letters.