An extract from Television South West’s series entitled Robinson Country, The Writers features the novelist best known for satire, Tom Sharpe (1928-2013). Here he returns to the places he dislikes and explains how they shaped his eye for the ridiculous. He started writing aged 43 and with the publication of Wilt (1976) introduced the character of Henry Wilt, a teacher at the fictional Fenland College of Arts and Technology loosely based on his own experiences of teaching.
The Wilt Alternative (1979), Wilt on High (1984), Wilt in Nowhere (2004) and The Wilt Inheritance (2010) followed. Sharpe lived in South Africa but was an ardent critic of the apartheid regime and was deported for sedition in 1961 after his play The South Africans, which criticised the country’s racial policy, was performed in London. South Africa and the fictional capital of Piemburg in Zululand was also his inspiration for Riotous Assembly (1971) and its follow up Indecent Exposure. The Throwback and Ancestral Vices were published in 1978 and 1980. Wilt and his more famous Porterhouse Blue and Blott on the Landscape were adapted for television.