A week or so ago, I got asked to act in a commercial – ha! – and, of course, who was I to turn it down. So I did an hour or so’s voice-over and on-camera work, pretending to be someone who was kind of similar to me, but who had trouble with

[and this is where I had to act]

doing his taxes.

It was great fun, and put me in memory of all the times I acted on stage and film when younger.

I was pumped.

So much so that when I got home, I just sat myself down in front of a microphone and tried something I’d been thinking of for a LONG time: an audio version of one of my books.

I chose to do Karaoke Criminals because it has the most rapid fire structure and immediacy of plot. So as not to give anything away, I pulled a chapter early in the book. Now, when I sign copies of Karaoke Criminals, I often write

To be read in a London accent

which, as we know is not a singular thing, but gets close enough to what I mean, I think.

And the funny thing was, pumped up as I was, I found myself reading the book aloud in a far more London accent than I actually have. Now, there are reasons for this: recently watching The Sweeney featuring Ray Winstone, a recent trip back home to the UK and overcompensating for my mid-Atlantic drawl, knowing that the novel is based resolutely in London gangland and, well, it’s fahkin’ Ray Winstone, innit?

I’ll wait and see how popular this chapter is before I consider doing more, but without further ado, here’s me, not sounding like me, reading a fahkin’ book wot I wrote:

Oh, and just so I said it – WATCH OUT THERE IS STRONG LANGUAGE IN THIS CLIP!!!