The Star was lucky to speak to Dominic Knight, The Chaser writer turned novelist, when we did. A day later and Knight would’ve likely gone to ground along with the rest of the writers and cast of the controversial show.

We spoke on the eve of The Chaser episode ripping into terminally ill kiddies, so while Knight could speak about the previous week’s mild controversy (a skit involving a mannequin dressed as Governor-General Quentin Bryce being manhandled over a fence), he was unaware of what was to come -” in the aftermath of that terribly misjudged -˜Make A Realistic Wish Foundation’ sketch, the show was taken off air for two weeks.

Knight was on the publicity trail to talk about his newest project -” his debut novel Disco Pigs, a wry, comical look at love and life as experienced by a hapless suburban party DJ.

Knight has said that the idea of male frailty -” be it social or emotional -” is one he was keen to explore in the book. Paul Johnson, the aforementioned DJ, might know just when to drop the Grease Megamix at an over-40s night for maximum effect, but in most other areas of his life, he’s adrift.

It’s certainly been a big theme for me -” I’ve always been a bit hopeless with relationships, he said.

Men are quite bad at talking about these things, especially since we often don’t have the same support networks women have when it comes to talking about our emotions. It’s generally not thought of as OK for men to feel confused or a bit lost.

The columnist, blogger and scriptwriter admitted that, having spent much of his career writing in such short formats, creating a full-length novel was a sobering thought.

It was terrifying initially. I’m used to writing not more than 1000 words at a time, and suddenly I’d committed to writing 70,000, Knight confessed.

But it’s about getting your head around the idea -˜Maybe it isn’t that hard to write a novel’. Once you get over that and start to enjoy it, it’s OK. In the end, I really enjoyed constructing this whole world, and working on a broader canvas.
So have the other Chaser guys read his book?

They have … mostly. It’s come out just as we started this new series of The Chaser. At the launch in Sydney, Craig got up and said -˜I’m launching the first third of the book, because that’s all I’ve read so far’, Knight said.

They’ve said nice things about it, and they’re not very good actors -” as anyone who’s seen the show would know -” so I think they’re telling the truth.

info: Disco Boy is out now through Bantam Press.

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