Staggering Hubris: the memoir of Boris Johnson’s most classic Spad by Josh Berry has sold to Lightning Books!


We are thrilled to announce that John Baker has sold world English language rights to Staggering Hubris for Josh Berry, a stand-up comic and performer on Radio 4’s Dead Ringers and The Now Show, ‘whose video parodies of an Eton- and Oxford-educated special adviser (Spad) to Boris Johnson made him a breakout star of social media during lockdown’, to Senior editor Simon Edge at Lightning Books.

Staggering Hubris: the memoir of Boris Johnson’s most classic Spad tells the tale of the Covid pandemic from the perspective of Berry’s alter ego, Rafe Hubris (BA, Oxon), a man of implacable self-confidence but zero ability. ‘Rafe, who sees himself as the puppet master at the centre of government, has worked closely with the biggest names in UK politics: Big Daddy Cum Cum (Dominic Cummings), Matt Cock in his Hands (Matt Hancock) and Blojo himself (Boris Johnson). His 2020 diary – The ‘Rona Years, Vol 1 – is his fly-on-the-wall account of their response to the coronavirus emergency.

Berry, 25, has been doing voices on Dead Ringers, The Tracey Ullman Show and The Now Show since he was 22. In 2018 he took his debut tour Voice Thief, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His Twitter sketches featuring Rafe Hubris have accrued more than 20 million views. Staggering Hubris is published to coincide with his first UK-wide tour, Josh Berry: Who does he think he is?

Senior editor Simon Edge said:

Along with his 100k other followers, I became a huge fan of Josh’s Twitter sketches during lockdown, which are very cleverly written as well as brilliantly performed, so I jumped at the chance to publish a spin-off in the form of a fictional diary. Josh is a star in the making and we’re very much looking forward to bringing his horribly believable spoof character – the lovechild of Alan B’stard and Alan Partridge – to an even wider audience.

Berry said:

Lightning Books have lived up to their name and produced Staggering Hubris with breakneck efficiency. This is a big moment for Rafe who will doubtless continue to fail upwards through government in the years to come.

Staggering Hubris will be published in paperback, ebook and audiobook formats in November 2021.