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4.7 out of 5 stars
Cupid Stunts: The Life and Radio Times of Kenny Everett
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2013
I started off reading this because I enjoyed the Stafford's book about Lionel Bart. I had no strong feelings about Kenny Everett.
Now I've finished it, it's made me want to search the internet for recordings of Kenny. I had not realised what an innovator he was.
Plus he seems to have inspired such love and loyalty from people who knew him - unusual for a comedian! The ending is very
moving and sensitively told. I can really recommend this as an engrossing, beautifully-written read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2013
This is an entertaining and interesting read, written in an impressive and witty style, with amusing turns of phrase to keep the reader's interest. The matter of Kenny's illness and death are covered with great sensitivity. The research and the number of quotes and anecdotes from Kenny's friends is impressive. I greatly enjoyed reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2013
If you were a fan of Kenny - or even if you didn't know much about this brilliant man - the text just flowed off the page. It is kind retrospective book about Kenny and the end almost brought me to tears. This is one I shall read again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2013
this is a brilliantly entertaining biography of a unique genius. For those of us who were around & listening to Radio London & the early radio 1 this is a feast of nostalgia & reinforces what we all knew - Kenny was the Best Ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2013
Hugely enjoyable read. I grew up watching and listening to Kenny Everett so it was great to get an insight into the man and his life. Recommended for fans.
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on 16 May 2013
I loved the authors previous biography on LIONEL BART so awaited KENNY EVERETT with anticipation. It's hugely entertaining and has revealing chapters on his association with The Beatles, Pirate Radio and his early experiments with tape recorders. It's wonderfully witty and will appeal not only to fans of Kenny but anyone with an interest in the era. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Everything changes. Thirty years ago I used to love Kenny Everett's TV shows but watching them today they leave me cold. I just don't find them funny any more. The jokes seem as if they have come out of a Christmas cracker or a discarded seaside postcard, the humour seeming crude, basic and totally lacking any semblance of subtlety. Kenny Everett didn't do subtlety. Back on the late 70's and 80's though, the Kenny Everett shows were seen as cutting edge - wacky, punchy and daringly cheeky. In those days Everett was massive, briefly up there with comedy legends like Morecambe & Wise and the Two Ronnies. Unfortunately Everett's humour has not dated quite as well as theirs has.

It would be a shame though if Everett is allowed to become nothing more than a footnote in the history of light entertainment because Everett was much more than just a manic funny man. Everett was also an innovator who changed the way that popular music was, and still is, presented. He could perfectly acceptably be described as the mad scientist of pop radio and this timely autobiography should, I hope, remind people that that Everett was an extremely important figure in British culture.

It was the advent of the tape recorder that changed the life of the young Kenny Everett. Before discovering the tricks that could be done with a reel to reel tape recorder (and also the infinitely greater number that could be done with two tape recorders) he was the shy but subversive Maurice Cole from Crosby, but his wizardry with the tape recorder would eventually lead him to being Captain Kremmen, the world's most fabulous man and captain of the fabled Space Corps. Whilst not being particularly musically minded, once he had discovered how to exploit the potential of the effects that could be achieved with the use of tape recorders it was a fairly short step to becoming a DJ on pirate radio. Whereas previously being a DJ meant that you simply played music, Everett did it differently. His shows were instead jam packed with sound effects, funny voices and off the wall humour. This proved to be so popular that after that the DJ became a personality, with listeners tuning in to listen to them as much as the music played. Everett's rise and rise was not all plain sailing though because, as this book explains, he had a deeply subversive nature and his potty mouth lead to him being sacked many times from various radio stations after he had said something that was totally ill-advised that had upset the station controllers.

This excellent book also reveals that, off the air, like many creative geniuses he was a troubled character. For many years he tried to deny his homosexuality, even marrying with the misguided notion that this would "cure" him, as if being a homosexual was an illness. It was only once that he embraced his sexuality that he found any peace of mind, although this would eventually lead to his early death when he contracted AIDS from his promiscuous partner, Nikolai.

Although not in the top league of show biz autobiographies that I have read, this is nevertheless very good, telling us everything we would ever wish to know about little Ken, and it's all done in the best possible taste.
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I read this in one sitting and loved it. Great chapters on Kenny's childhood and early years at the BBC made fascinating reading, as did the sometimes sad stories of his later years. He was a great character and fantastic entertainer and this book captures him beautifully.
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on 8 January 2014
Enjoyable and insightful biography not just of Everett but of the times he lived in and how he negotiated a difficult place in the public eye with his complicated private history.
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on 18 September 2013
I always thought I knew virtually everything about Kenny. Well after reading this I do. Very detailed, very funny at times. A good detailed story about our Ken.
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