Matt Lucas Blocks Critic of Celebrity Authors, Admits to Oversensitivity

Matt Lucas explores ways to support indie authors

by Zain ul Abedin
Matt Lucas Blocks Critic of Celebrity Authors, Admits to Oversensitivity
© Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Matt Lucas, the widely recognized comic actor from "Little Britain" and former host of "Great British Bake Off," has found himself at the center of a Twitter controversy involving the visibility of celebrity-authored books in prominent retail spaces.

The issue came to light when children’s author Lindsay Littleson pointed out the overwhelming presence of celebrity-written fiction on a bookshelf in a WH Smith store, featuring titles from notable figures such as Lucas, Alesha Dixon, Geri Halliwell, Stephen Mulhern, and Jamie Oliver.

Littleson, whose latest children's book "Ice Cream Boy" has garnered positive reviews, expressed her frustration over the challenges independent authors face in gaining similar recognition. In response to her post stating, "Makes me wonder why I keep trying," Lucas defended his work, emphasizing his pride in his literary efforts.

However, the dialogue quickly escalated when Littleson highlighted the disparity in opportunities for indie authors, which led to Lucas blocking her on Twitter, further fueling the debate among the literary community.

Lucas Seeks Amends

The incident drew criticism from other writers, including "Chaos Walking" author Patrick Ness, who cautioned Lucas about the tight-knit nature of children’s authors.

After some reflection, Lucas acknowledged his initial oversensitivity and reached out to the writing community, seeking ways to support independent authors. This acknowledgment opened a floodgate of constructive suggestions from fellow writers on how celebrities like Lucas could use their platforms to uplift lesser-known authors.

Suggestions included promoting new children’s books on social media, discussing favorite living authors during promotional interviews, and engaging more actively with schools, reading organizations, bookshops, and bloggers to foster a culture of reading.

Marie Basting, a fellow writer, highlighted the collaborative efforts within the children’s writing community to support each other and promote reading for pleasure. She invited Lucas to join these efforts, emphasizing the potential impact of his platform.