¿I swore I¿d never write another biography. Why did I say yes? Easy question, answer difficult. Amongst the shards of why, the abiding motivation is I like Robbie Coltrane. I like his work, I like the man, I like his location in the (in)human landscape of celebrity.¿
This is not your usual ¿born here did that¿ biography. This is Neil Norman¿s account of Coltrane and his work, of the process of finding out about someone who you don¿t know, of living with someone who¿s in your life but never part of it. It is a biography of Coltrane where you learn almost as much about the author and the notion of celebrity as anything else.
The bare bones are known: actor, comedian and auto-mechanic, Robbie Coltrane has 300 accents at his command and can fix anything from a vintage Cadillac Eldorado to a wonky cigar lighter. Born 48 years ago in Glasgow, Anthony Robert MacMillan is the son of a police surgeon and a pianist. Always a fat boy he developed his rapid wit to divert potential bullies. From stand-up comic to Comic Strip player to film (Mona Lisa) and TV star, Robbie Coltrane found real success in Tutti Frutti and even more in Cracker. His private life has had its wild moments, sometimes attributed to his reaction to the death of one of his sisters of a drug overdose while at university. He is now married to sculptress Rona Gemmell, 22 years his junior. They have a son called Spencer.
Those are the facts. You¿ll be surprised what Neil Norman makes of them .