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David Jason: My Life [Hardcover]

David Jason
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (993 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 13.60  
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Book Description

10 Oct 2013

National Book Awards Autobiography of the Year 2013

The long-awaited autobiography of one of Britain's best-loved actors.

Born the son of a Billingsgate market porter at the height of the Second World War, David Jason spent his early life dodging bombs and bullies, both with impish good timing. Giving up on an unloved career as an electrician, he turned his attention to acting and soon, through a natural talent for making people laugh, found himself working with the leading lights of British comedy in the 1960s and '70s: Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Bob Monkhouse and Ronnie Barker. Barker would become a mentor to David, leading to hugely successful stints in Porridge and Open All Hours.

It wasn't until 1981, kitted out with a sheepskin jacket, a flat cap, and a clapped-out Reliant Regal, that David found the part that would capture the nation's hearts: the beloved Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. Never a one-trick pony, he had an award-winning spell as TV's favourite detective Jack Frost, took a country jaunt as Pop Larkin in the Darling Buds of May, and even voiced a crime-fighting cartoon rodent in the much-loved children's show Danger Mouse.

But life hasn't all been so easy: from missing out on a key role in Dad's Army to nearly drowning in a freak diving accident, David has had his fair share of ups and downs, and has lost some of his nearest and dearest along the way.

David's is a touching, funny and warm-hearted story, which charts the course of his incredible five decades at the top of the entertainment business. He's been a shopkeeper and a detective inspector, a crime-fighter and a market trader, and he ain't finished yet. As Del Boy would say, it's all cushty.

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David Jason: My Life + The Wit and Wisdom of Only Fools and Horses
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Century (10 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780891407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780891408
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (993 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"As good as it gets ... so much on every page ... a great, great book." (Chris Evans)

"It's a romp of a chronicle, a life according to Del Boy, the ultimate cheeky chappy." (Daily Telegraph)

"Jason's account of his 'busy and fulfilling life' is as genuinely genial as the man himself ... his hugely likeable memoirs reveal he's had the last laugh." (Daily Mail - Book of the Week)

"The book is terrific." (Richard Bacon)

"How the son of a market porter gave up a career as an electrician to become one of Britain's most successful and best loved actors ... the long awaited story..." (Independent)

Book Description

The long-awaited autobiography of one of Britain's best-loved actors.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfick 14 Oct 2013
By Samanta
I couldn't wait to read this book as I have been such a big fan of David Jason for many years. His longevity in the business is testament to the fact that this man gives everything to his various roles and this also comes across in the book. It is a very enjoyable and satisfying read and I found out things that no interview has ever covered. It is such a warm and good humoured book. He comes across as a really humble and "ordinary" guy but has so many interesting and funny stories to tell. Could highly recommend this fantastic auto-biography.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely jubbly 19 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The long awaited autobiography of probably the most successful comic actor in the history of television, becoming The Guvnor' after Ronnie Barker's retirement, certainly lives up to expectations. Sir David is a modest man who worked hard first as an amateur then professional actor before become a major star in the 1980s. After an early success with the role of Captain Fantastic in Do Not Adjust Your Set, he had to wait over a decade before starring in the short-lived hit comedy A Sharp Intake of Breath. In his forties he hit the big time with the supporting role of Granville in Open All Hours before major stardom followed with lead roles in such diverse series as Only Fools and Horses, A Bit of A Do, The Darling Buds of May and A Touch of Frost, as well as winning a BAFTA for the portrayal of Scullion in Porterhouse Blue.

The book is generally upbeat despite a surprising number of near death experiences and visits to hospital casualty departments. Fans of the Monty Python team and Terry Scott will be disappointed by the way they treated the writer.

Sir David appears content with his late entry into marriage and fatherhood, after the tragic death of long-time girlfiend, the Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog. He seems to have been a victim of phone hacking when Miss Talog was terminally ill. The book contains a factual error. The comedy duo Myfanwy worked with were Ryan and Ronnie not Rees and Ronnie.

Sir David tells several stories about Only Fools and Horse but does not mention that he planned to leave the series before changing his mind. It would have been interesting to know why he made the original decision and what caused him to think again.. The story ends with his marriage and being knighted by the Queen. the events happening on consecutive days. Later series like Diamond Geezer and The Royal Bodyguard are not part of the narrative

A very entertaining book by an unassuming star. My Life deserves to be a best seller.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read 18 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
David Jason's writing is wonderful. So funny and evocative. I Admire him even more than I did now. He came from a very ordinary London family and battled his way into show biz.. Interesting to read about the early careers of people who seem to have been always familiar names too. A wonderful Christmas present.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read and a Nice Bloke!! 25 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting how he started and also his compliments about his peers. Never gave anyone a slating and also some very funny stories. DJ - seems a very genuine and nice bloke. Ronnie Barker handed "The Guvner" title to him and well deserved to.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Feed Indeed 22 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A fabulous book. It felt as though Sir David was in the room with me narrating the tales from his fascinating life. It fills in many gaps and has quite a few revelations about people he's worked with. The Little Feed, as Ronnie Barker called him, serves up a real feast. I laughed a lot throughout the book but had tears in my eyes at the finish. Wonderful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 25 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How refreshing in these times, to be able to read a book, which is kind and caring of others,written by a much loved and modest man,who has come through difficult times and has found happiness, this book should be on every ones book list. Thank You DJ.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Jubbly 23 Oct 2013
Being a fan of David Jason's for a long time I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I bought the audio book to listen to on my journey driving to work and back. This book made me laugh out loud and listening to Davids account of his beloved partners death also brought me to tears. His humble beginnings and his journey through his career right up until he was deservedly knighted has eased my journey to work and back and I felt quite sad when the book came to the end. In the words of Del Boy this book is lovely jubbly.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book by a Lovely Man. 24 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of 'Only Fools and Horses', 'Open All Hours' and 'A Touch of Frost', this was a must read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed his story and it was great to hear about his early years - I didn't realise he had done to much theatre and TV work. An easy read with great humour. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a Star
Surprisingly candid for one of the real glitterati and stars of the small screen. Much of what David writes about was familiar to me growing up in London and even his portrayal of... Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Paul Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book if you are a fan of David Jason
Published 20 hours ago by Rooster
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and Enjoyable Read
It appears that David Jason has been a part of my television viewing for most of my life, given that he appeared in Do Not Adjust Your Set, a childhood favourite of mine. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mark Syder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's a book. What more can I say.
Published 1 day ago by K. A. Shoben
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As I was reading the book I felt that he was speaking to me personally about his life.
Published 1 day ago by Margaret Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the two I haven't rated I have not read yet so cannot comment.
Published 2 days ago by liz andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Fan read ;)))))
Published 3 days ago by donna l morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
a bit boring
Published 3 days ago by christine thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product - Great Service
Excellent Product - Great Service
Published 3 days ago by R. H. Cripps
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic candid book from a private man
Great tales & a lot of myths put to rest in this enjoyable autobiography of one of Britain's best loved actors
Published 3 days ago by Jai
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