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Kentish Lad, A Paperback – 1 Oct 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (1 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552141372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552141376
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Forget the Booker Prize shortlist. Here is something a lot more enjoyable" (The Sunday Times)

"A treasure trove of funny stories ... a warm, witty, and extremely well-written book" (Sunday Express)

"Frank Muir is not just very funny. He is also a scholar with an enormous fund of curious learning. His intelligence, taste and genius with the English language is all his own" (The Sunday Times)

"Warmly wise autobiography, as good as anything he has written, bracingly amusing, nostalgic and full of shrewd commonsense" (The Spectator)

"This delightful memoir is guaranteed to put a smile on your face" (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The autobiography of one of the most respected and enduring figures in British entertainment.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
Frank Muir's life-story is not all that remarkable - plenty of people have had reasonably happy childhoods, their share of good and bad fortune, success in their chosen field, and so on. However, what makes this autobiography stand out from the rest is the wealth of anecdote and humour to be found on almost every page. The life story is basically an excuse for the telling of a vast number of funny stories and the recounting of memories of encounters with fascinating people.
Anyone who ever heard Frank on the radio or saw his TV appearances on "Call my Bluff" and the like will remember his beautifully quirky way of putting things. This style is apparent throughout the book, proof positive that no 'ghosts' had a hand in this autobiography.
A word of warning, though. Read this book yourself, and don't let your partner get hold of it first. Otherwise you will suffer a constant diet of "I must just read you this bit"! - as my long-suffering wife can testify!
There is a sad note to the book in that Frank died shortly after completing it, and there is an afterword to this effect written by Jamie Muir, the son of Frank and Polly. Their loss must of course be infinitely greater than that of those of us who knew his talent but not the man himself. However, having this book means that some very happy memories can be preserved.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
I always admired Frank Muir based on seeing some of his TV appearances. A true British gentleman, with a quick mind and a happy, humourous outlook. This autobiography conveys this same sense of the man but with a wealth of experiences covering his RAF exploits in the second World War, his radio and TV script-writing, and his roles as Entertainment department heads in the BBC and independent television. Throughout, Frank Muir comes over as a thoughtful man who focused on what was important to viewers and listeners, and a willingness to take risks on new programmes and new entertainers.
This book is a pleasant and easy read - not a gripping novel by any means, but a happy and relaxed way to unwind in good company. If you've enjoyed British TV comedy in the sixties, seventies, and eighties it's likely that Frank Muir played a role in your favourite programme and this book will allow you to reminisce happily.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robbie on 25 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people probably remember him as the bow tied buffer on 'Call my Bluff', or from 'My Word' on the radio, but there's more to Muir than these shows. Frank, (together with Denis Nordern), was a talented scripwriter and producer of pioneering comedy shows in the post war years.

In this very funny and readable autobiography, Frank writes about his seaside childhood in Ramsgate, 'you swam in and swallowed petrol flavoured sea water' and later Leyton, 'I was educated in E10 - not Eaton', before moving on to his war service as a photographer in the RAF. It's hard to imagine the dapper Muir in a bomber, strapped on a plank over the bomb bay as it slowly opens... 'I might well have screamed'.

Frank had a sunny (and sometimes surreal) outlook on life, and there's plenty of comic anecdotes, to illustrate his post war life, as he started his writing career with the BBC, while becoming a family man and celebrity. The book concludes with a touching postscipt from his son Jamie.

Very good indeed. If you're feeling fed-up then Frank's comic tales will surely put a smile on your face.
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Format: Paperback
Frank Muir's autobiography reflects the subject not only in terms of the history but more so in terms of the style as the genteel humour and warmth of the book comes through clearly. There are many funny moments as one would expect in the career of Frank Muir but these are presented in such a low key fashion that ultimately I found the book a little disappointing. The period of time covered includes a number of comedy `greats' in both television and radio yet, Dennis Norden and Jimmy Edwards aside, little attention is paid to their relationship with the author. It's not clear why this should be so as Muir himself comes across as a very pleasant, engaging and likeable fellow who in his roles as writer and producer of many of the UK's finest comedy shows of the last fifty years came across many of them and was popular enough to have ensured guest appearances from some of them at the opening of the Thorpe village fete each year. This disappointment aside, the book does leave a warm feeling in the reader. The complete absence of scandal or salacity adds to the feeling that Frank Muir's place was in a gentler time and it is one to which he made a major contribution. As someone who first came across Muir in his Cadbury Fruit and Nut adverts it was nice to get a more rounded view of the person. In fact the biggest shock in the book was discovering how tall Muir was: I always assumed he was short! Indeed to misquote the final quote: `it has all been quite enrichening'!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed Frank Muir ( also Dennis Norden and others) in My Word and My Music, so I had to rush out and get this book when I heard about it.In this book Frank relates many funny jokes and anecdotes, many about the famous comedians he has known.I find this book especially fascinating because of the behind the scenes information about his shows.An endearing quality of Frank was his penchant for stepping in where angels fear to tread.He tells us why he was not given a knighthood: he offended Prince Philip.He also told a joke which did not amuse the Archbishop of Canterbury.Mostly he is reticent about personal matters and reveals little about the inner man.For example, his brother and mother hardly feature after his childhood days.Still, there is much that is of interest about his life to be found here, and fans of British comedy will certainly be amused.
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