Isy Love Letters straight from heart of Dales

If you live in Matlock you can’t help but recognise some of the characters - or at least wonder if you do.

Saturday, 7th June 2014, 10:07 am
Isy Suttie

That dinner lady, the tramp at the bus station and the oh, so romantic locations of the Dales.

Matlock was thrust into a different kind of spotlight with Isy Suttie’s Radio 4 show Love Letters. The comedian and author focuses on the town where she spent most of her childhood and which she admits, shaped her.

Isy moved to Matlock at the age of six - when her father opted to start a job in Derbyshire rather than take the family abroad. “I am very grateful to Matlock for being such a cool place and I am so proud to come from there and it has really shaped me,” Isy said.

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“I often wonder what would have happened if I had gone to Holland.”

The series was constructed around fondly poking fun at her childhood town and Isy hopes it might tempt more visitors and raise the town’s profile.

“When you have been a teenager somewhere you are always going to find faults with it - that is the same everywhere,” she said.

“When I first went to Derby to visit people I would be like, wow you have more than ten shops but they would also be jealous of Matlock and the caves and places to visit. I have still got family in Crich and my best friend from school lives between Matlock and Chesterfield so I do come back often. I really miss it.”

The tales told in Love Letters are based on true stories - a patchwork of Isy’s memories.

“The stories are based on real people and I have cobbled together bits and bobs - sometimes it is more than embroided truth,” she said. “I have always based them on true stories - but changed names.

“When writing about characters I pull things out of my memory and imagination. It is a patchwork from across life but because I have spent so much time of my life in Matlock, it has a huge influence.”

Isy is presently working on a book, due to be published next year.

n Read more from Isy in next week’s Mercury.