High Hopes: My Autobiography

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9780091873813: High Hopes: My Autobiography

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From the Author:

My Autobiography
A lot of people have asked me why I decided to write my autobiography. Well, when I say a lot of people, I mean my publisher. He summoned me to his office the other day, held up a copy of my book, High Hopes, and said: "What did you have to go and do this for?" I think, actually, he’s rather bitter because there was a misunderstanding when we first met and for some reason he thought my name was Harry Potter.

He thumbed through the book impatiently. "Any recipes in it?" he asked. "You’ve got to have recipes these days." I pointed out that there was a reference to some very memorable chips on page 28 and a mention on page 192 of the comedian Dave Allen giving me an apple charlotte. "Also my father was a baker in Edinburgh, so there was lots of baking in my childhood."

The publisher sighed. "I would hardly call you a domestic goddess," he said. Well, I told him, I worked with Danny La Rue who is absolutely divine. That was before I was discovered by David Frost and met Ronnie Barker and we made all those successful series of The Two Ronnies.

"The book also tells all about the strange odd jobs I did while I was a struggling actor; how I was a barman, a storekeeper, tennis court supervisor. There’s an account of a perilous journey by boat to the South of France and an even more perilous journey to Glasgow where I was sent, incognito, to put some alarmingly large bets on two particular greyhounds.

"And you’ll find the story of how, in the middle of a performance at the London Palladium, I was struck down by a mystery illness which nearly destroyed my career. I also tell about appearing in pantomime with Stanley Baxter, about Cary Grant coming round to my dressing room in Bristol and about bumping in to Stewart Granger in a supermarket."

For a moment he showed a glimmer of interest.

"I’ll have you know," I said, "that I am on the Booker shortlist."

"You mean your autobiography, High Hopes, might win the Booker Prize?" he asked. Slightly incredulously.

"No, I am on Arthur J Booker’s List of Short Authors. At five feet one and a half inches I am half an inch taller than Samuel Pepys and I tower over Charlotte Bronte who was four feet nine inches."

Oh yes, I am down there with the literary giants.

Book Description:

The definitive autobiography from one of Britain’s best loved entertainers

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