Tommy Cooper: Always Leave Them Laughing: The Definitive Biography of a Comedy Legend

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9780007215102: Tommy Cooper: Always Leave Them Laughing: The Definitive Biography of a Comedy Legend

Fully authorised biography by Tommy’s friend and colleague, acclaimed TV producer, John Fisher, and the first ever intimate portrait of Britain’s best-loved, but little known, comedy entertainer.

More than just a comedian, Tommy Cooper was a born entertainer. Working in a golden age of British comedy, Cooper stood – literally – head and shoulders above the crowd, and had a magical talent for humour that defied description. When Cooper enlisted in the army in 1939, and began to perfect his comic timing on his army colleagues in the Egyptian desert, the man with the fez was born.

Cooper was at the heart of the thriving British variety scene, adored by his legions of fans and much revered by his fellow professionals. The gentle giant of entertainment accompanied his bewildered, botched magic act with a sublime sense of bravado and a face that was made for comedy. He was one of the first funny men to have the entire nation in stitches.

But there was a man behind the laughter that few people saw. John Fisher was Cooper's friend and colleague and witnessed first-hand the child that lingered within the adult and moments of self-doubt and inadequacy that contrasted with the genial exterior. Until his tragic death, which occurred in the middle of his act on live television in 1984, Tommy Cooper lived in constant fear of the day he would be found out by his audience. He could never believe the accolades that came so thick and fast from every direction, and died to the sounds of laughter that he never really believed.

Supplementing his own intimate knowledge with material accessed for the first time from the archives of Tommy's agent and manager, Miff Ferrie, and with the full co-operation of the Cooper family, John Fisher brings alive the man behind the comedic mask in this definitive biography of a comedy legend.

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Review:

'A monumental and masterly biography of the great Cooper.' Daily Mail

'A masterful work that will deservedly find its way into the Christmas stockings of anyone interested in showbiz.'
The Stage

'….it's a measure of how funny he (Cooper) was that this book had me on the floor even when reading about gags I've never seen. Yet this is no hagiography. While it has chapter and verse on how Cooper's comic chaos came into being, it also tells how one of our country's greatest bringers of joy was a boozy, tight-fisted, foul-mouthed, faithless old misery. Add to such background detail some of the best descriptions of physical comedy since Tynan and we have a lot to thank John Fisher for.'
The Sunday Times

‘John Fisher’s biography admirably captures the Cooper magic.’ The Oldie

‘A moving and illuminating showbiz biography. The book deserves a standing ovation.’ Irish Examiner

‘A book with unrivalled access to (and knowledge of) its elusive subject.’ The Independent

‘For all his popularity as one of Britain’s best-loved post-war entertainers, Tommy Cooper’s life away from stage and screen is little known. Fisher’s book does much to change to this.’ Yorkshire Post

Praise for Tommy Cooper:
‘Everyone wanted to imitate him didn't they. That was the true accolade I think. And he was funny as soon as he came on, he didn't have to say anything he was just … FUNNY.’
Ronnie Barker

‘Tommy was amazing. He looked like Mount Rushmore on legs. He never said anything about real life so he never dates.’
Barry Cryer

‘Absolutely fantastic. No other comic would work with him, he was too good. He had this fantastic expression. A giant of comedy, a British WC Fields and he will be irreplaceable.’
Eric Morecambe

About the Author:

John Fisher has a long and distinguished career as a TV producer working in light entertainment with such giants of comedy as Bob Monkhouse, Spike Milligan, Bruce Forsyth & Tommy Cooper. His most recent work includes Channel 4’s critically acclaimed “Heroes of Comedy”. An authority on popular entertainment, he has written many books on the subject. ‘Jus’ Like That!’, his stage celebration of the life of Tommy Cooper, was a recent West End hit. John is also a member of the Inner Magic Circle.

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