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Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris [Paperback]

Lucian Randall
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 April 2010
The Sun newspaper asked if Chris Morris's July 2001 Brass Eye Special on paedophilia was 'the sickest TV ever?' It was certainly the most controversial, though his uncompromising style of comedy meant he was rarely far from trouble. Morris first came to national prominence at the heart of a group of virtually unknown comedians brought together by Armando Iannucci. This book follows them from their 1991 news satire On the Hour, which transferred from radio to television where it was reinvented as the equally successful The Day Today. It became impossible to watch bulletins without thinking of Morris's Paxmanesque anchor character chastising a reporter -- 'Peter! You've lost the news!' -- or authoritatively delivering nonsense headlines: 'Sacked chimney worker pumps boss full of mayonnaise.' Meanwhile co-star Steve Coogan created a lasting anti-hero in Alan Partridge, imbued with a horrible life all of his own. But Morris himself was always the most compelling character of all. Drawing on exclusive new interviews and original research, this book creates a compelling portrait of Morris from his earliest radio days and of the comedians and writers who frequently took on the industry they worked in, polarising opinion to such a degree that government ministers threatened to ban them entirely. THIS IS THE NEEEWWWWS!

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Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris + The Audacity Of Hype: Bewilderment, sleaze and other tales of the 21st century + How I Escaped My Certain Fate
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847371388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847371386
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 15 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucian Randall writes non-fiction, mainly biography, though he has also ghostwritten memoirs as well. His writing has also appeared in such magazines as Esquire and he's appeared on BBC radio. He's worked as a commissioning editor in non-fiction publishing and lives with his partner and daughter in London.

Product Description


'A detailed and utterly absorbing account of the rise of the enigmatic and doggedly determined master saboteur' --Metro

'Impeccably researched and fluently written'

`An inspiring read' --Independent

'An intriguing insight into the experience of working with Morris [with] rich behind-the-scenes knowledge . . . A fascinating account'
--New Statesman

'Four stars'

'Well-written and meticulously researched . . . the best analysis yet of how Morris works and certainly worthy of its uniquely talented subject'

'Four stars' --Sunday Express

'[Morris] has given permission for his friends, colleagues and family to talk. The result is a meticulous biography' --Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard

`A timely contribution to the sum of our knowledge about this extraordinarily private man' --Sight and Sound

About the Author

LUCIAN RANDALL's previous books include the biography of Vivian Stanshall, Ginger Geezer (Fourth Estate). He lives in London.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Peasant... 17 Jan 2011
Chris Morris is undoubtedly one of the funniest people ever to have emerged from the world of satire, and it has to be said that this book is a great tribute to him. Known for his anonymity, and his secretive manner, this could by no means have been an easy book for Lucian Randall to write-the nearest thing he got to approval from Morris was the fact that he met him for one very brief interview,and responded to no further requests. In other words, he "didn't say no". But the book's subject has clearly been greatly researched. It provides some rather interesting information about his early life, in particular his musical interests. It later goes on to describe his formative years as a radio presenter for various stations, eventually seeing him being both hired and fired by the BBC, after a remark about Michael Hesseltine's "death". It gives a fascinating look behind the creation of both On The Hour and The Day Today, and some background information about Knowing Me Knowing You. But any Morris fan will find the Brass Eye section most interesting, since it provides a full account of the difficulties faced by the production staff, trying their hardest to justify Noel Edmonds being duped into campaigning against "Cake", and persuading Morris to wear a padded jacket whilst annoying West London drug dealers. There are also many other facts about the series that are guaranteed to make you laugh. In particular, I was highly entertained by the story of the time Morris discreetly added a nasty caption about Michael Grade that saw him banned from channel 4.
There is, unfortunately, nothing about Four Lions, apart from a tiny mention of an "upcoming project", but the likelihood is that Randall had finished the book by the time of release, so we can't blame him for that one. Overall, Mr. Randall has earned a great deal of re-cocking-spect from me.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome in fair but incomplete Morris 15 April 2010
Any book about Chris Morris is going to be incomplete, but this one gets pretty close - he was contacted and didn't not agree to it, so that's about as solid gold permission as you can get from this slippery comic.

I was interested to find out about On the Hour, Brass Eye etc in detail, but felt that Nathan Barley was very short-changed. That was the main reason I was reading, so I galloped through looking for mentions of it and there were only two very brief asides.

This is a respectable leap into the Morris-shaped void, full of interesting commentary from his collaborators and as close as we're ever likely to get from the real thing. Hopefully there'll be an update after Four Lions hits.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read-o-geddon! 16 April 2010
When one thinks of Chris Morris and his attendant genre, what's the first thing that pops like a muddied speechbubble out of the old grey matter? Is it the gut-wrenchingly funny, painfully accurate news/sport spoof of The Day Today? (e.g BOOF! Eat my goal!) Or is it the intense, dark, uber-artistic Blue Jam? ("....Lizards!") Or, perhaps, the unstoppable satirical juggernaut that was Brass Eye? ("...crimes we know nothing about are going up as well!")

If you loved any or all of these, this book is something you should have been waiting for. Not only does Randall make it all hang together as one contiguous narrative, but it also bears repeated reads and, usefully, it works as a reference volume for the whole genre. Anecdote and insight are accompanied severally by fascinating biographical details and large helpings of the material itself. There may be stuff you know, but a great amount of unearthing has been done here; and, whilst the book does not unmask Morris fully, it also gives the distinct impression that the mask is part of the plan. You end up seeing just as much of the man as you feel you should.

Neither overly reverential nor lazily written, this is a cracking read about an auteur who not only demands your attention, but truly commands it. Read this, or receive a speaking-down...!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only bio of the Dark Lord of Comedy 4 Oct 2010
Chris Morris is an elusive figure - quoted and copied more often than you would realise, but since the media storm over the Brass Eye Special in 2001 he has stayed firmly out of the public eye. This book is full of great stories about the making of his most influential series - The Day Today, Brass Eye - and all of the messy politics and personal battles behind it. It's a shame the book only touches on his first feature film, Four Lions, which was in production when the book was published, but you can't have everything. I loved this book - and read it voraciously in a day. If you're a fan of Chris Morris, this helps lift just a little bit of the veil...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morris Major: and he IS like this. 15 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this book, so far three times in a year, I can attest that it can make a susceptible person laugh till it hurts as it hurt me. Yeah I can see that, interim book that it is, this excludes, of necessity, Morris's work of more recent, Barley and 'Four Lions' vintage. But it gives an indelible impression of the man's intelligence, his exploiting of what is sometimes indubitably puerile, his Swiftian (and it is) satire of real anger sublimated in some startlingly prescient parodies of the 'moronic inferno' of modern meedja/24 hours news culture in 'The Day Today' and, infamously, in 'Brass Eye'. The anecdotes are rich and help give a picture of an exotic yet reassuringly nice bloke; they are illustrative of a very complex, essentially likeable man who magnanimously allowed friends to speak to Randall, with one condition (read the book to find out). The analysis of Morris's working methods and the nature of his comedy is extremely deft and intelligent, making this one of the very few truly enlightening books about comedy, distinguishing Morris sharply from tiresome shock merchants like the odious (indeed pointless) Littlejohn and Limbaugh, who do little more than shout inanely in print and radio. Morris is demonstrably quite unlike them in talent,(he has it, they don't), achievement and purpose. He is at heart a prankster and a deeply serious person, a sort of Beadle meets Lenny Bruce. Having met the man once and enjoying his yammer (I really did, he is a terrific talker and like the best, a listener too), I can see why he inspires such loyalty and admiration. As an opportunity to appreciate a comic genius, (and boy is this man funny and bright), this book is an essential purchase. He will assuredly do something great (well he has) but it makes you wonder what he is up to now, for you may be sure that up to something he certainly is. Marvellous.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars not great but good
Not revelatory but a decent snags broth of morris and his spunky monkey ways more production than inspiration but I would guess a incredibly difficult subject to research
Published 8 months ago by Chrsitain Holst
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Despite Morris's reticence to be directly interviewed for this book, the author has done a great job in terms of stringing the subject's friend's stories together into an... Read more
Published 12 months ago by F
5.0 out of 5 stars The twisted brain wrongs of a man gone mind mental.
Are you a fan of Christopher Morris?

Do you wish to know more about his origins, history and work?

What are you, some kind of stalker? Read more
Published 12 months ago by S. D. Michalak
4.0 out of 5 stars A good solid account, despite the obvious difficulties
For any lovers of Chris Morris's work ('comedy' seems not quite the right word), this is an essential read. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Guy
2.0 out of 5 stars As good as it reasonably could be
There is an obvious problem with writing a biography of anyone who is still alive, which is that they will continue to do stuff and therefore any biography will be incomplete. Read more
Published 17 months ago by James Rands
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm disgusted and I've been sick!!!!!!
I bought this book hoping it would go some way to explaining how this monster was allowed to broadcast non-stop filth on the British airwaves.

It didn't. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2012 by topstep
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief history of recent comedy time
This is as close as you are going to get to an autobiography of Chris Morris.

The brain behind Brasseye, Four Lions, who came to fame during the day today/On the... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by Lord Of All He Surveys
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello You!
Very well researched, well written and interesting book. Good insight into the world of brilliant satirist Chris Morris. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by BluJaam
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressed
Wasn't expecting much detail about the illusive Chris Morris, but the author has done his research and there's plenty of interest for Morris fans. Read more
Published on 23 Dec 2010 by Mr. D. Collier
4.0 out of 5 stars very informative
very informative, almost too much so. More of a manual than a biography, more anecdotal stories would be nice rather than long descriptions of what car was being driven and what... Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by Jonathan Anderson
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