Ben Watt: 'Tracey Thorn and I are very bad collaborators'

The duo also known as Everything but the Girl released 11 albums together

Arts Correspondent

Ben Watt may have spent 18 years producing hits with wife Tracey Thorn as dance group Everything but the Girl, yet he has ruled out any literary collaboration despite both publishing books in the past year.

Everything but the Girl released 11 albums since forming in 1982 with hit songs including Missing.

They have not performed live as the band since the turn of the century and pursued other projects including writing books.

Watt, 51, could not see the pair writing together: “I can’t see the idea of a literary collaboration happening, we’re very bad collaborators.”

The author and musician was speaking at The Independent Bath Literature Festival about the memoir of his parents Romany and Tom published this month. Thorn was at the festival a year ago to promote her own memoir called Bedsit Disco Queen.

"We've been together since we were 19, publicly and privately, but in all that time we've always worked in isolation,” Watt said, ruling out working in a similar style to Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, the husband and wife team behind the book Triple Package, who also spoke at the festival this weekend. 

“A lot of our best work is written on our own then taken to the other one for comment, editorial skills and a general soundboard. We very much value each other's opinion, but we don't stand around the piano knocking out songs.”

Thorn said in January that performing again as Everything but the Girl “would feel like a step backwards”.

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