The eye of the storm…


Finally, I have become a “twitter storm…”

And for this I must thank something called Stan Twitter – which I don’t know of nor understand but apparently, it is a thing and why after 10,000 retweets, an adverse story about Dominic Holland has been doing the rounds and picked up elsewhere, including the Metro and Buzzfeed…

No one wishes to read personal insults in the media – that I have been ‘cancelled’ ‘called out’ and revealed for being ‘bitter and jealous’ of my son’s fame – but since none of these things are remotely true, it isn’t terribly troubling.

Indeed, when I was first alerted to the mob and the “hate Dominic Holland campaign”, I was actually on-line looking at Box Office Mojo and enjoying the great success of Spider-Man Far From Home.

Writing Eclipsed was not a project undertaken lightly. I was aware of how the book might present itself and especially to anyone who hasn’t read it, which is why its tone is so key and that the manuscript needed to be rewritten so many times. And before I published it, my wife Nikki and Tom were given opportunities to completely knock it on the head.

It also needed to be an honest account of my own career – the highs and lows – and particularly my foray in to screenwriting to sit alongside Tom’s rather different Hollywood experience.

I felt fortunate since the story seemed pre-ordained to me and near on perfect as a non-fiction tale. That I had taken aim at Hollywood myself and that without any planning or intentions on our part as a couple, that our eldest should become a blinking movie star.

I think that this is the first time I have referred to Tom in this way – but why not, its what he is and it could seem churlish not to.

The truth is I don’t make many claims in Eclipsed. Not that I am a comedic star who was wronged or that my son/s are terribly special or talented. It is more just my observations of an unusual set of family circumstances.

And whatever achievements lie ahead for me; I fully understand that the Eclipse is complete and will never be reversed.  Furthermore, I expect my other three boys to only add to my ‘misery’ in the years to come (misery in inverted commas here to denote that I am joking; on the off-chance that anyone from Stan reads this post) – and when this happens, I will be delighted.

Regular readers of this site will know my travails with the game of golf. Tom has long since left me behind and is giving me shots now as well as career advice. This morning I played Sam and as hard as I tried to beat him, his two shot victory filled me with pride. And so it is only Paddy left now in my family that I can beat – but I don’t give this very long – a year perhaps and maybe sooner.

In the book, Eclipsed,  I am keen to explain that despite my setbacks (which are common to all) that I have not given up trying – which is amply demonstrated by my just publishing my fifth novel, I,Gabriel.

I didn’t bother submitting it to publishers – preferring to go it alone and so I don’t have ‘people’ to get it reviewed and have me booked to do media appearances. The novel relies pretty much on my blog as its platform and so with the odds stacked against me – this splurge of publicity for DH across print and on-line is very welcome indeed.

A question I am asked occasionally and usually by fellow comedians (who have a first hand in understanding how hard it is to make a living out of funny these days) is this…

With Tom being so successful, why do you bother trying anymore?

I could bore you with a missal answering this but aside from enjoying writing and the challenge of trying to make people laugh – the implication of this is that my son just takes care of me from here-on-in. Getting paid for nothing – or perhaps for the years already invested by his parents in his young life?

I cannot imagine anything worse. Even reading plain untruths about me in a national newspaper.

It is august after all – a slow news month – and to remind everyone – that there is no such thing as bad publicity and with this in mind, need I remind anyone that I,Gabriel is out now

And finally – many people have since come on-line to refute the thrust of this story – mainly people who have read the book – which is heartening to see – so thank you.









51 thoughts on “The eye of the storm…

  1. Kerry Andrew says:

    I have read this and it was wonderful I’m sure the teens that are disputing it will never read but for those who do you will get a treat with this being said I think every one who reads it will laugh out loud like I did with your musings and such dry almost desert sarcasm and how that this was a labor of love waiting for my I Gabriel can’t wait to read it

    • Hebbynan says:

      Dom, I loved Eclipsed! I laughed my butt off! As parents we want to see our children succeed and yes, to even “eclipse” us. It’s sad that people didn’t get your sarcasm. Keep up the good work. And remember – be nice to those boys because one day they’ll pick your nursing home!

    • RuthPrentice says:

      Wow this is so awesome. The beautiful thing is, you son is who he is because you’ve never stopped trying. After reading this I can see why Tom is such a joy to watch on and off screen, he’s got an energy and a passion to always be his best (from what I watch). You can see by your writing here where he gets it! (And of course your lovely wife too!) Your family is certainly amazing! Big thank you for this energy that you have, and for passing it on to your son. Wishing you and your family all the best, and prayers to keep the negativity away, what you do is a gift to us all, now more than ever we need the laughs and the joy to keep us going! Never stop trying! -RP.

      • admin says:

        Nicely said Ruth and rest assured I will keep going. I plan to publish Open Links on my own books platform with the money going to Anthony Nolan via The Brothers Trust and to republish A Man’s Life (with a key note from a reader) and also to make it available as a paperback – plus stand up and…

        • RuthPrentice says:

          If we as parents give up on our dreams, then why should our children have them? There is no doubt your family’s success is not an accident, so I’m confident the people you have to support you know this about social media… but if I could also add a comment about Twitter (since coincidentally I’m currently studying digital analytics at Harvard Business School). The number one “engagement driver” for social media is conflict. Watch the CEO himself admit to Twitters issues on the TED stage this year in April:

          I could nerd out a lot more on this topic, about the flawed algorithms etc… but at the end of the day neither you or Tom should have to defend yourself. Twitter is the one that should be taking a closer look in the mirror. As fans who use social media, we need to be aware of how these platforms are built (and their flaws) so we don’t think that the truth is actually behind this negativity. Often too many times conflict is used and manipulated to drive engagement with purpose of creating Ad revenue.

          I was a fan of yours and Toms before, but now even more so after reading your blog. Best to you both, keep the joy and the laughs coming!

  2. Zac says:

    Sorry about the horrible negativity you face about that book. I’ve read the book and it was a beautiful story about the love a father has for his son. Ignore the haters!

    Tho I disagree with calling Tom a full fledged movie star. In the industry today, there aren’t any movie stars in Hollywood. There’s no such thing as a bankable movie star that can open a movie by itself. Spider-Man is a movie star. Tom Holland is not a movie star. If that makes sense? Chris Hemsworth’s headlining movies outside of the MCU have all flopped, even though he is very popular among fans. Therefore, Thor is a movie star. Chris Hemsworth is not a movie star. People go to pay Thor, not Chris Hemsworth. The only successful movies in Hollywood these days are franchises, sequels, and reboots. Back in the day, movie goers went to the movie to see the “Tom Cruise Movie” or “Will Smith Movie”, now they go see Spider-Man or Pixar. I think you should not consider Tom Holland a full fledged movie star until he successfully opens a movie without a established franchise (which Spider-Man is).

  3. Nathalie says:

    Hello sir
    I bought Eclipsed on ITunes a few months ago (and positively reviewed it). Obviously people making the claims you described have not read the book. Thankfully you seem to take this with philosophy.
    I really enjoy your blog and sense of humor. You (and by extension your family) seem like kind hearted and generous people.
    Keep being you, you are doing it so well (I am really hoping my thoughts are rightly expressed because I am french and even though I do speak english, I am scared of the way my wording comes across).
    All the best to you, and to your novel I,Gabriel

  4. Pamela Buttke says:

    When I saw some of the news coming across and the hate that was sent your way, my heart sunk. You and your family are generous wonderful people. You are an amazing author and I am thoroughly enjoying your books. I have read Open Links which was amazing!! I am currently reading I, Gabriel and will read Eclipsed after that! I also love reading your blog! Know that we are behind you 100%! Thank you!!

  5. Alex says:

    I’ve read Eclipsed and absolutely loved it! Ignore the trolls, it’s unfortunate that they are making stuff up about you.

  6. Alyssa Fink says:

    Anyone who has read Eclipsed would know that the book is about love and not bitterness. “Stan Twitter” is just bored and needs something to do, and for some reason has decided to attack a really lovely novel and author.

  7. Mara says:

    The Stans you describe have surely not bothered to read the book, the blog, your work, maybe not even the posts. Tom’s comedic vein and timing is surely influenced by yours. Keep working and writing, sir.

  8. "Uncle" Dave Ferguson says:

    Those of us who have followed you since Tom’s early Billy Elliot days know what an amazing father you are to all of your sons, the sacrifices you have made and the pride that you have shown. You have handled the “eclipse” with great humour and good grace, and anyone who would think you are “sponging” off your son clearly doesn’t understand the man that you are and the boy that you have raised.
    Best Wishes,
    Dave Ferguson

  9. Cherryoak says:

    I read the headline earlier and just laughed. The whole thing just didn’t make sense, clearly they hadn’t read the book. I didn’t realise you were actually getting stick for it. Sad that you have even had to write a blog to explain it.

    I’ve not brought I, Gabriel yet but, will do! You carry on being a great Dad to your boys.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I think that Tom’s success reflects upon the wonderful job you and your wife have done as parents. The pride you both must feel! As a parent myself, I can relate.

    I’ve only read Open Links. Even though I know nothing of golf, I couldn’t put it down. I am looking forward to purchasing and reading your other works.

    • admin says:

      Open Links is deffo the most important book i have written – so your reading it is heartening – do review if you feel disposed for
      a worthy cause. Imagine if a family member needed a transplant and they were matched by Anthony Nolan…

  11. Ashley says:

    I think, too often, people don’t understand irony and satire. It’s clear that you’re proud of your sons. Any parent who doesn’t poke fun at their children aren’t very fun to be around anyways!

  12. Erin Hayward says:

    People will do anything to start drama and lies, it’s unfortunately unavoidable! But don’t worry, you’ve got many people out there who know you’re not bitter, but a proud father of 4 amazing boys! You keep showing those haters that you can’t be brought down!

  13. andrea says:

    Hola, I read the book a couple of years ago and I think is a great moving piece. Keep going Dom.

    Ignore the unfunny people…

  14. Ellie says:

    I was scrolling through Twitter when I saw all of the rude comments people were making about you and the book and it did not make sense to me. I haven’t read it, but I saw some lines from it and even to me it seemed pretty obvious that it was all in good banter and it seemed humourous. Very sorry that the ‘Stan Twitter’ did not realize this.
    Good luck further on!

  15. Asal Takesh says:

    Dom, you should know that we all love you and support you no matter what, anytime, anywhere, no matter the circumstances. I have loved your family and everything you all have done since day one. Not only that, but I’m so excited to read your new novel. Social media can be toxic on most platforms and these claims are just ridiculous. I personally am very happy with this blog, the book, your undying support for your sons, and all you do for them. Keep being the wonderful person you are :))

  16. Faith Jacqueline says:

    Oh my goodness. The things people do in their spare time. There is no reason to start a “Hate Dominic Holland” campaign. Your a great man and an amazing father. Ignore the haters!!! Kind regards, Faith

    • Kate says:

      Dom! do not listen to anything those “haters” have to say. I am a fan of both you and your son’s work and will continue to be. You are an amazing person as well as an amazing father to your boys. Social media can be toxic, and this is just apart of it. Keep doing you!

      • admin says:

        Thank you Kate. Spider-Man was famously described as amazing and probably fairly so but Dominic Holland is definitely not amazing in any context. Just an ordinary bloke really, doing his best in many fields. But thank you.

  17. Julia says:

    I am a huge fan of Tom and I read eclipsed. It is a very funny book from a father that is immensely proud of his son. Anyone coming after Dominic is no fan of Tom’s.

  18. Regina says:

    In the middle of Eclipsed and it is a delight. I have only praise for the book, which I will share it when I have finished it. Suffice it to say, like Taylor Swift (probably) sang “haters’ gonna hate hate hate hate hate.” But those who appreciate what you’ve done will add the wealth of wisdom by trying to express their love for it.

  19. Karine says:

    I am deeply sorry you have to go through this. I think sometimes people are so focused on negativity and hurtful comments. They speculate repugnant comments rather than promoting love and support. I’m sure you feel proud of Tom and no matter what the media portrays, your son’s success is one of the sources of your happiness.
    Sometimes you just have to set aside criticism and enjoy every moment with your children.



  20. Diane says:

    Willingly calling yourself a Stan is something I’ll never understand. Stan was crazy! He locked his pregnant girlfriend in a trunk and drove off a cliff. Fairly certain Eminem did not intend for people to idolize the character.

  21. Laura says:

    People have too much time on their hands and want to cause drama. You & your family seem like a loving & supportive unit.

    • admin says:

      and create drama they did. Last evening, we were out to dinner with a bunch of friends and my twitter storm was the main course. We had a good laugh about it and now we all know what Twitter Stan is at least

  22. Maggie says:

    Hmm. I wonder how Paddy feels about how you implying he is the worst golfer in the family. 🙂 love your blogs and I look forward to reading your books. Such a great father x

  23. Tina says:

    I saw some hate tweets, but was never aware that there is a hate campaign. I just started reading eclipsed 2 days ago and in the reviews on Amazon, someone wrote “One might think this is a selfish attempt to gain fame and fortune at the expense of his son. This is the not the case. It is part doting, yes, (who wouldn’t with a supremely talented offspring like that), but it is also part auto-biography with more brutal honesty and self-deprecating humor than can be expected from anyone with selfish intentions.” This is the exact reason why you never a judge a book by its cover. It seems that British sarcasm has more of a serious tone than American sarcasm does, which can be confusing for us, so that might be the reason

    • admin says:

      and yet I think American comedy is the best in the world – Modern Family, Spin City, Simpsons, Brian Regan, Bob Newhart, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Burr, Patrice O’Neil, Larry Sanders, Curb…

  24. Tina says:

    I saw some hate tweets, but was never aware that there is a hate campaign. I just started reading eclipsed 2 days ago and in the reviews on Amazon, someone wrote “One might think this is a selfish attempt to gain fame and fortune at the expense of his son.” This is the exact reason why you never a judge a book by its cover. It seems that British sarcasm has more of a serious tone than American sarcasm does, which can be confusing for us, so that might be the reason.

  25. Alayna says:

    Stan Twitter is a scary thing which I try to never go near (twitter is a dumpster fire these days anyway so it’s not hard to stay off it) and I’m sorry you have somehow got sucked up into it. It’ll blow over soon as they move onto something else. I read Eclipsed earlier this year and I loved it! And the last thing I would EVER take away from it is that you are jealous of Tom! I never thought that once. Its not hard to see how proud you are of your sons. Anyone who has read Eclipsed or anything of yours or even seen you in Tom’s Instagram stories knows this campaign is all BS because it’s really obvious how much you guys all mean to each other. I distinctly remember watching The Impossible back when it was released and thinking this kid is so talented, he is going to be famous. I was a fan of Tom’s from that moment. I don’t know how to end this…..just hang in there – it’ll blow over, I plan on reading your other books (I also watched some of your standup on YouTube and you are hilarious!) and Hi from Vancouver

    • admin says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment – I cherish the whole experience of watching The Impossible being made and Eclipsed is a nice chronicle for us all (Tom included).

  26. Theresa says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eclipsed. It’s honest, funny and a damn good read. You are clearly a proud dad (of all your boys) and the book is truthful account of life. Pay no heed to the individuals who have nothing better to do than criticise. We love you Dom ! x

  27. Caroline says:

    I don’t normally write comments but felt compelled to give you my support. As a mum of two teenage boys there is nothing better than reading your dad comments – they always make me chuckle. It’s great to know that behind all the glitz and glam there is a dad saying “get your feet off the furniture! ” I think you should seriously consider a “Dom’s dad advice” section on your blog.
    So in the eye of your twitter storm – chin up, as they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity and as my grandma would say “Slaver a bogie and shit a pig! ” (a way of saying turn something crap into something fantastic)

    • admin says:

      That’s kind and good to know, thanks, but I would never be bold as to offer advice on anything really and nothing quite as personal as parenting.

  28. Louise says:

    I’m pretty sure this pile on is in reality just a bunch of 10 year old girls thinking they’re being protective of their boo, and looking for a bit of attention, but being too immature to realise they are actually not getting the humour in your writing, and that they are being very disrespectful and hurtful to Tom and his family and friends in the process. I’m sure we all did this sort of thing mooning over David Cassidy when we were younger, but in our bedrooms with our best friends. Social media feeds off this sort of drama sadly, and can make lies into a story to sell. Hope it all blows over quickly. I’m sure it will.

    • admin says:

      I think it has blown over already and sales of Eclipsed have spiked. My hope being that people who enjoy it, will review it legitimately and honestly – the world will notice it and it becomes a best-seller and all thanks to Twitter Stan. Now that will be a story worth telling! Thank you.

  29. Louise says:

    As a Dane living in New York I truly miss sarcasm! Nobody gets it here and it’s incredibly lonely no being able to be sarcastic from time to time. So I’m gonna read your book and laugh at all the sarcasm that apparently goes right over Stan Twitters head. I can’t wait to have a genuine good laugh again.

  30. Flávia says:

    I started reading your book Friday night and I’m almost done. It’s amazing how you write and Eclipsed has been giving me a good laugh. I was shocked by this news. I hope you and your family are doing well. Hugs to all.
    Ps: I’m from Brazil, so I’m sorry if my english is bad.

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