Nick Hornby's novel Funny Girl is set in Blackpool, England, in 1964. It tells the story of 21-year-old Barbara Parker: a beautiful blonde who wants to become a comedic actress like Lucille Ball.
Barbara wins the Miss Blackpool beauty pageant. She wants to get out of Blackpool more than anything. When she realizes the title of Miss Blackpool commits her to a year of hospital visits and charity events, Barbara gives the title to the runner up and leaves for London.
Barbara gets a job working the cosmetics counter at Derry and Toms, a department store on Kensington High Street. She meets Marjorie, who works in the shoe department, and accepts an offer to become her roommate.
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