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Himoff!: The Memoirs of a TV Matinee Idle [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Richard Whiteley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Oct 2000
'A face like a cartoonist's suicide note' A.A. Gill, Sunday Times Richard Whiteley was the first person to appear on Channel 4 on Tuesday 2nd November 1982. With the words "As the countdown to the launch of a new channel ends, a new Countdown begins". Nobody was to know, of course, that the new face on the channel was still to be there 17 years later, and that Countdown would be dominating the channels Top Ten ratings. Richard Whiteley is known for his jackets and his puns - opinion is divided as to which is worse. However he is regarded as a cult figure among a broad section of society. He has appeared in such shows as Hale and Pace, TFI Friday, Shooting Stars, Light Lunch, Mrs Merton, Fantasy Football, received a 'Gotcha' from Noel Edmonds and is constantly on the receiving end of Terry Wogan's gentle mockery. He most recently appeared on McCoist and MacAuley and 'The Greatest Rory Ever Told', as himself and as Carol Vordeman. He was the hit of the Edinburgh Fringe this year with his one man show... 'If you like Alan Partridge you'll love Richard Whiteley. Singing along with the Countdown theme and pretending to be the Countdown clock was a stroke of brilliance.' Independent

Product details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st edition (19 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752838458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752838458
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,888,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

"Boo, boo, boo boo boo boo boo boo boom!" That's what people sing whenever they see Richard Whiteley in the street. It's the theme to the popular afternoon television quiz Countdown--a programme that Whiteley has been presenting for 18 years. As Whiteley reveals in his book Himoff!--The Memoirs of a Matinee Idle, the tune was composed on the toilet, hence its "plippety plop nature". The book's title comes from something else that people forever come out with when they meet Whiteley: "Ooh look, it's himoff telly!" After almost two decades hosting Countdown on Channel 4 and 27 years reading the news on Yorkshire TV, Whiteley reckons to have made over 10,000 television appearances. More "mere musings" than an autobiography, Himoff! is a behind-the-scenes peek at a life spent in front of the lens.

For someone off the telly, Whiteley comes across as refreshingly down-to-earth and his recollections are peppered with self-deprecating anecdotes. Such as the time he was due to unveil a plaque to mark the opening of a community centre. Chuffed to bits at the thought of his name being immortalised, Whiteley kept badgering the organisers to make sure they spell it correctly. On the day of the unveiling an excited Whiteley pulled the cord. The velvet curtains parted to reveal the immortal words: "This extension was opened on 15th March 1994". Other stories included in this enjoyable lightweight read recall Whiteley being attacked by a ferret, saved from an IRA bomb by the offer of a glass of champagne, and almost being dumped from the programme that made him a household name. --Christopher Kelly

About the Author

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Richard Whiteley was obsessed with TV from the moment he saw a BBC outside broadcast van. Richard was the first person to appear on Channel 4 on Tuesday 2nd November 1982, with the words "As the countdown to the launch of a new channel ends, a new Countdown begins". No one could have predicted that Countdown would dominate the channel's top ten ratings for over 20 years. Richard made a record 10,000 or more appearances on British television. He died in 2005.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read overall 24 Aug 2003
I have been a big fan of the musclebound gameshow host since the early days of Channel 4.
I found the book to be overall an interesting read filled with many intresting stories and anecdotes. If you a fan of Countdown or Richard in general you will like the book, Its the same level of humour.
Overall well recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A really nice book by a really nice chap - with a great sense of humour and doesn't take himself too seriously. An enjoyable read, full of amusing anecdotes and reminiscences, but never too sentimental. No nasty surprises, just what you would expect, and a perfectly safe present for a maiden aunt.
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