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London, Ep. 38

April 22, 2014 — Literary Death Match returned to London to present the first ever show at the gorgeous Century Club, and what a night it was! The grand finish came as Natalie Young outlasted Dixe Wills in a Literary Blank Match finale by a score of 4-1 to win Young the LDM London, Ep. 38 crown. 

But before the ending came a brilliant beginning, as the night kicked off with  Luke Brown, author of My Biggest Liewho wowed the crowd with tales of writers and disgruntled publishers. Next up was Dixe Wills, travel writer, genre-bender and journalist, who read a amusing but tense excerpt from Tiny Stations, telling the tale of happening upon a forboding country pile with a dark secret. 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges:Sarah Churchwell, author of 'Careless People: Murder, Mayhem & the Invention of The Great Gatsby';  Viv Groskop, broadcaster, journalist, author of I Laughed I Cried; and Joel Dommett, stand-up comedian, actor, TV funny manThe trio doled out praise and wisecracks in the direction of both competitors, before they made the night's first difficult decision, naming Wills the night's first finalist. 

After a drinks-and-chat-filled intermission, Round 2 commenced with Natalie Young, donning rubber gloves and an apron telling the story of Lizzie Frain and her upcoming meal from her book Season to Taste (or How to Eat your Husband) that had the crowd tittering. Finally, it was actor and playwright Jason Hewitt, performing an anxiety-inducing piece from the 2014 Desmond Elliott Prize longlisted The Dynamite Room

Again the judges were center stage, and despite attempting to pervert the course of justice by adding in all contestants to the finale, they were pushed by hosts  Suzanne Azzopardi and Tom Webb to make their night's second impossible choice, naming Young as the night's second finalist. 

Then our hosts announced the Literary Blank Match finale, in which they read out famous opening lines from books with key words replaced with blanks. The finalists were challenged to guess correctly what our judges had written. In the first round, Natalie jumped ahead with three points. In the second round Dixe and Natalie both gained one point meaning that Natalie grabbed the Ep 38 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.

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