Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Saturday, 2 January 2010

Stephen Fry quits the web to write his autobiography

Stephen Fry
Fry published the first volume of his autobiography in 1997

Broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry has said he is "switching off his connections with the outside world" to concentrate on his autobiography.

The QI host, who is one of the most popular celebrities on Twitter, said he had to deliver the second volume of his life story to publishers by April.

"Some people can write with ease in whatever circumstances they find themselves," he wrote on his website.

"I need peace, absolute peace, an empty diary and zero distraction."

He continued: "I have a single appointment in London towards the end of January and another in Barcelona a month or so later. Otherwise I shall be as one wiped from the map of human existence. This is how it must be.

"All this is a way of saying, of course, that my Twitter stream will dry up for that period."

Fry, who is a prodigious contributor to Twitter, has threatened to quit the micro-blogging service before, following a disagreement with an online critic.

This time, however, his absence will only be temporary.

"No doubt this will come as a relief to some, but I am not so sunk in false modesty as to be unaware that there are loyal followers who will emit long, loud wails of 'Noooooooo!' and who will feel pained and dispirited," he wrote.

"But I hope they will understand that this is a) imperative and b) temporary. I shall return."

Comedy memoirs

Fry and Laurie
Fry first found fame as part of a comedy duo with Hugh Laurie

The first instalment of Fry's autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, was published in 1997.

It was a humorous account of his childhood and troubled adolescence, as schoolboy thievery led to imprisonment for fraud.

He has previously hinted that he is finding the second volume more difficult to write, as it will deal with people in the public eye - including Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, both of whom he met at Cambridge University's Footlights comedy society.

"It's something I haven't yet grappled with," he told the Associated Press last April.

"There is pressure. The trouble with it now, is the moment it starts, it would have to be at university and it would be Hugh and Emma and all that sort of thing.

"It becomes a showbiz biography and I'm keen for it not to be too much. Why would I want to involve people without their permission?"

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The Independent Fry to take a break from Twitter - 6 hrs ago
The Scotsman Fry to fire off his last Tweet as he takes a break for proper work - 8 hrs ago Stephen Fry quits Twitter to work on his new book - 10 hrs ago
Telegraph Stephen Fry to quit Twitter - but only temporarily - 42 hrs ago

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