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Mr Holdsworth by Romesh Ranganathan

The stand-up comedian recalls an imposing English teacher whose sense of humour and passion for the subject left a lasting impression

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Forest Grange was a really quaint, posh school in a beautiful setting with a lake, just outside Horsham, Sussex. It’s now closed down. My mum and dad were obsessed with us going to private school when we were younger. Later, they couldn’t afford it any more, so we ended up going to a comprehensive.

I was very lazy. Every report said: “Fails to live up to his potential. Romesh doesn’t focus.” Dad was an accountant and used to drill me with number work.

Howard Holdsworth became my English teacher when I was 9. He was actually deputy, then head, of the school. The only experience we’d had of him ...

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