I don’t like the idea of an established church, I am appalled by the existence of faith schools, and, the older I get, the more I dislike the sound of people chanting anything in unison. Humanists find their own faiths, values and morals, and express them in individual ways. They never chant in unison, and that is their strength.
David Nobbs was born in Orpington and educated at Marlborough, Cambridge and in the Royal Corps of Signals, where he reached the lofty rank of Signalman!
His first job was as a reporter on the Sheffield Star, and his first break as a comedy writer was on the iconic satire show ‘That Was The Week, That Was’, hosted by David Frost. Later he wrote for ‘The Frost Report’ and ‘The Two Ronnies’, and provided material for many top comedians including Les Dawson, Ken Dodd, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd and Dick Emery.
His seventeenth novel, Obstacles To Young Love,is published on June 10th, 2010. His other novels include: Sex and Other Changes; the Henry Pratt quartet, Second From Last In The Sack Race, Pratt Of The Argus, The Cucumber Man and Pratt a Manger; the three Reginald Perrin novels, published as The Complete Reginald Perrin, Cupid’s Dart, and his own favourite, Going Gently.
David is probably best known for his two TV hit series, ‘A Bit of a Do’, starring David Jason, Gwen Taylor and Nicola Pagett, and, above all, for ‘The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin’ with Leonard Rossiter, now revived in a contemporary version written by David with Simon Nye and starring Martin Clunes. Other TV series include ‘Fairly Secret Army’ with Geoffrey Palmer, and ‘Love on a Branch Line’ with Michael Maloney and Leslie Phillips. He has also written widely for radio, notably the three series of ‘The Maltby Collection’. He has also published his autobiography, I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today.
He was President of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain from 2004 to 2007. He lives in North Yorkshire with his second wife, Susan. He has four stepchildren, eight step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.
In The Observer magagazine (19/9/10) David Nobbs described how the peaceful manner in which his mother died after a long happy life and a short illness, changed his attitude to death and also persuaded him to become a humanist:
...the most important thing that happened to me in the wake of my mother's death wasn't the strengthening of my feelings against religion. It was the strengthening of my feelings for disbelief. I believe that there are just as many of the "Christian virtues" to be found among the faithless as the faithful. Furthermore, these qualities are explored and developed along individual paths. We have no God whom we can burden with the responsibility for our actions.Loss of faith. It sounds so negative. I didn't lose faith. I gained faith. Faith in people. I am proud to describe myself as a humanist. Last year I joined Humanists UK, and I don't think I would have made this move if I had not seen my mother die that sunny Sunday morning.
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Watch him talking about Humanism in The really simple guide to Humanism.