A Bit of A Stretch

A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner

Chris Atkins

RRP: £16.99
6 February 2020
ISBN: 9781838950156

A shocking and darkly funny account of the reality of Britain’s prisons…

Where can a tin of tuna buy you clean clothes? Which British education system struggles with 50% illiteracy? Where do teetotal Muslims attend AA meetings? Where is it easier to get ‘spice’ than paracetamol? Where does self-harm barely raise an eyebrow?

Welcome to Her Majesty’s Prison Service, a creaking and surreal world that has been left to rot for decades in the shadows of polite society. Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn’t spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years. His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the oldest, largest, and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe.

Horrifying, moving, and darkly funny, this is the unvarnished depiction of what he found. With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to corrupt screws to senior officials bent on endless (and fruitless) reform, this is the reality behind the locked gates. Full of incredible and hilarious stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals the true scale of our prison crisis and why it is costing us all.

  • Major bestseller potential. Contains the same mix of hilarious gallows humour, social criticism, and insight into a hidden world that made This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay a huge bestseller.
  • Tie-in podcast series to air to coincide with publication of book, featuring interviews with prisoners and prison staff.
  • Major serial potential. The author has a proven track record of attracting mass media attention with his work — his documentary Starsuckers was the first to reveal Max Clifford’s ‘dodgy’ side and was front page news for several days. This book will be as revelatory and shocking.
  • Excellent author connections. From his documentary work, the author is well connected with TV and print media, who are already begging him to tell his story.
  • Impactful publicity and advertising campaign. As well as reviews, interviews, broadcast media and features ,we will back the book with a massive print and outdoor advertising campaign across major national newspapers, National Rail and London Underground.

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