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London, Ep. 21

December 7, 2011 — A converted brewery tucked behind Spitalfields Market became a Santa’s grotto of literary greatness for the final LDM of the year as Kat Brown defeated Ed Hogan in a tense, sudden-death Bauble-Off! that lasted a nail-gnawing four rounds before Brown triumphed over her adversary to claim the Death Match crown.

Teaming up with Amnesty UK's brilliant Write for Rights campaign and sponsored by the fairy-dust of venerable publishers Picador, it was a magical night filled with Christmas cheer, peppered with the c-word.

LDM mastermind Todd Zuniga and London Producer and all-round Christmas cracker Suzanne Azzopardi kicked off the festivities by introducing the judges and readers to a packed room of twinkling lit-lovers.

Mighty Boosh star Rich Fulcher (author of Tiny Acts of Rebellion: 97 Almost-Legal Ways To Stick It To The Man) won the book-toss and elected to read second.

Writer and journalist Kat Brown, resplendent in a white, Christmas tree dress, seized the mic to read first, wowing the audience with a festive tale of heartache, cheese, sex and Twitter that was both hilarious and romantic and contained the now-immortal line, “That man is an idiot, disguised as a cunt.” Her razor-sharp delivery took her twelve seconds over the allotted time which the trio of all-star judges - riotous presenter Iain Lee, crack comedian Paul Sinha and the dazzling Hephzibah Anderson (literary critic and author of Chastened) - were quick to make note of.

Next up was Fulcher, a man so in command of the stage that it would have marched on Parliament had he asked it to. He shamelessly complimented the judges before regaling the audience with poems about owl’s penises and insane naked men, in his own distinctive deadpan style. “I’m not Edgar Allen Poe,” he said at one point.

The judges were bowled over by Brown’s charming story, with Sinha praising her effortless correction after mistakenly saying that one her characters ate cheese for three months instead of three hours and Anderson calling the tale “hilarious.” Lee was impressed by her use of made-up bullshit words like “imagineering” in a Christmas party context and identified with her on a personal level as he himself won The Weakest Link, as Brown once had.

Anderson was so stunned by Fulcher’s poetry that she wrote “penis” in her notebook after his owl verse. For Sinha, Fulcher’s performance surpassed Chris De Burgh singing Lady In Red in concert (previously his most favourite artist performance) and called him “magnificent” with Lee applauding his performance too.

After a break to take in the magical surroundings, wee, and hear a little more about Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign, the crowd returned for Round 2.

Wearing a hat set at a jaunty angle, the amazing Kate Monro stepped up first, reading from her book The First Time: True Tales of Virginity Lost and Found. She recounted the story of how a sixteen year old Thalidomide victim lost his virginity to a girl called Stella with “huge bosoms”. The audience was transfixed.

Last to read was Desmond Elliot prize-winner Ed Hogan, who masterfully read from his latest book, The Hunger Trace with dry humour and an authentic accent. The extract took in an impending blind date at a Travelodge in Derbyshire, with talk of Freddie Mercury’s moustache, whether Travelodge’s had marble floors and if mentioning Peter Sutcliffe on a first date was a wise move.

Afterwards, the judges gave their verdict. Anderson called Monro’s tale of sexual exploration “brave” and said that it was hard to read and talk about sex. Sinha criticised the lack of comedy Welsh accents and Iain Lee talked a lot about his mother. The judges collectively agreed that Hogan was “hot”, with Chris De Burgh’s performance getting knocked further down in Sinha’s estimations. Anderson, who had already read Ed’s book, said it was “moody and evocative” with great dialogue. The judges huddled and decided to put Ed Hogan through to the finale.

It was to be a brutal contest. In an absurdly complicated set-up, both finalists were required to toss Christmas baubles into Santa hats held by members of the audience - which resulted in a tie. There was only one thing that could decide the outcome: a Bauble-Off! Hogan matched Brown shot for shot as the competition headed into the night but in the end it was Kat Brown who triumphed after a misguided toss from her handsome competitor allowed her to claim the legendary Literary Death Match crown!

Happy holidays everybody - see you in 2012!

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Reader Comments (1)

Yeah! Love Fulcher and all in aid of Amnesty - very festive!
Get writing, people!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

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