The Life and Times of Norman Ondoby

The Life and Times of Norman Ondoby

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Posted 2024-02-27 by dpmfollow

Wed 13 Mar 2024


When a millionaire National Lottery winner dies suddenly before being able to spend his windfall, an intrepid news crew decides to make a documentary about the lucky, or rather unlucky, winner.
Unassuming Britian heads off to interview friends and family of winner Norman Ondoby, who had a heart attack after winning the largest Lottery payout ever, in the hope of discovering more about the man behind the headlines.



But in this short comedy, penned and directed by Birmingham filmmaker Andrew Hindle, we learn that truth isn’t always stranger than fiction.

While an increasingly frustrated television crew attempts to unearth something interesting about Norman, we can’t help but wonder whether this really is the most boring man in the Midlands.

Maybe the clue is in the name. Hindle spins a seeming Diary of a Nobody kind of tale – Norman’s son calls his dad ‘just an average bloke’, his ex-wife terms him ‘so boring’ and his work colleagues can only muster an agreed ‘he was all right.’

But Hindle’s previous film Last Respects was full of surprises so are we being lulled into a false sense of security and does Norman have a secret still to be uncovered?

That would, of course, be telling but suffice to say that this short film is a gem of understated humour, which pokes warm fun at the Black Country while also sending up television documentaries.

Gill Jordan may be better known for her comedy alter-ego Doreen Tipton but here she gives a much more subtle presentation as the dowdy ex-wife Janet. With excellent comic timing, she cuts down every attempt the television crew make to encourage her to share a fascinating fact about Norman.



Karl Brookes is the befuddled newsman desperate to get the full story but confronted time and again with the dullness of Ondoby’s existence. There’s a moment where he looks to the camera with resignation that he will never ‘get the scoop’ and we all feel his pain.

Robert Keith Minshull has his moments as Ondoby, shared on grainy ‘videos’ shot by friends and family.

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this short film which pays a gentle homage to the most ordinary of Black Country folk.



Birmingham audiences have the chance to see The Life and Times of Norman Ondoby at its first screening at Millennium Point Auditorium on 13 March. The event begins at 7pm with a drinks reception with the screening at 7.30pm followed by a Q&A.

Tickets cost £7 including a drink and can be booked here.

See Trailer here.

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279124 - 2024-02-27 10:07:33

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