It would have been inappropriate to call this book 'Schadenfreude.' Had we done so we might have sold a few copies in Germany at best. Alas, the thought of an unattended book signing in Dusseldorf did not quite hold the same appeal of one man and a dog ateending a similar function at Cheltenham or Newbury so we went with Turn Me On Guv, something more traditionally English.
But the German word sums up much of the essence of this collection of anecdotes - the derivation of pleasure from the misfortune of others. I don't feel too bad about that because I like to think I practise a bit of self-schadenfreude - if there is such a thing.
Since I joined the Daily Telegraph back in 1993, I have produced a weekly column, the racing diary which, I hope, provides a little light entertainment for those (close relations) who read it for breakfast. That is certainly the idea. Like Hot Cherry, this book's predecessor, it is the best (least worst), most recent stories to have appeared in that column which I hope have raised a smile at the time and that they continue to do so.
So why Turn Me On Guv? Hot Cherry was so called because Hot Cherry, an inflatable doll used to breaik in a difficult horse, was one of the stars of the book. For continuity we were quite keen on Hot Cherry Rides Again but, after suffering a couple of unfortunately terminal puncture wounds on her epic gallop through a Kent village, there was no way she'd ride anything again.
Turn Me On Guv is the punchline to one iof the stories involving the Derby winning trainer Mike bell and the highly successful but also extremely attractive female jockey Hayley Turner but beyond that I will not spoil it for you.
I hope that one of the attractions of the column and, therefore, the book is that it does not require of the reader an intimate knowledge of racing or horses but just a passing interest. It should suit the expert just as well as the man in the street who only really wants to get infront of the television to watch a race once or twice a year, usually for the Grand National or Derby.