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Must The Show Go On? [Hardcover]

Les Dennis
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 April 2008

When the newspapers revealed to Les Dennis and the rest of the world that his younger wife Amanda Holden was having an affair with Neil Morrissey, he found it hard to cope with the huge media instrusion on top of the breakdown of his marriage. So when he was shown in the Celebrity Big Brother house talking to the chickens, the press began to fear for his sanity. His little joke to alleviate the boredom was spun against him. But then he appeared on Extras, courageously parodying the perception of him as a lost soul of celebritydom, and his career once again took off.

Les Dennis's marvellous memoir takes us back to his childhood days growing up in Liverpool, where he went to the same school John Lennon had attended, through his early days on the comedy circuit as a teenager, before he moved on to theatre and fame on television, most notably his sixteen years as host of Family Fortunes. Packed with hilarious anecdotes from his showbiz life, the book also reveals the pressures our entertainers face - something he discovered all too well when he had to perform straight after Tommy Cooper had collapsed on stage. Les Dennis might be a very familiar face on our TV screens, but until now no one has really known his full and extraordinary story.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition, Second Impression edition (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752890964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752890968
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Beyond the gory marriage breakdown, his autobiography is full of fascinating episodes and anecdotes. (Patrick Barkham THE GUARDIAN)

Dennis's honesty serves him well ... he demonstrates a self-awareness that makes absorbing reading. (LottieMoggach THE LONDON PAPER)

'Now he's telling his story - and what a story. This surprisingly funny memoir is one of the best I've read.' (THE SUN)

Book Description

One of the most extraordinary and searingly honest celebrity memoirs you will read, from one of Britain's great all-round entertainers

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
If you're looking for a salacious read this isn't it! However, Les Dennis discusses his painful and humiliating break up with Amanda Holden in some detail, so if that's what you're interested in ..it's there. It's not what I was interested in though. I wanted to know how he survived 16 years of "Family Fortunes" without strangling a contestant and how he managed to survive over thirty years in the mires of show business and still be such a nice guy! Having read this book. I suspect the main reason is his down to earth and sensible parents.God bless 'em! The stories of his family and his upbringing in Liverpool are very touching. They also made me laugh a lot. Once he went professional there was simply no-one in British Light Entertainment Les didn't work with. It's a real who's who of Variety and an insight into the reality of "treading the boards" and in some cases falling over on them and staying there. Having to carry on doing his act at the front of the stage while Tommy Cooper was dying behind the back tabs, and having to go straight back on stage the night after his partner Dustin Gee passed away are some of the reasons behind the title "Must the show go on" An older, wiser Les thinks not. The thing about most celeb autobiographies is that they never ever take any sort of responsibility for their actions. It's always someone else's fault. This one's different. Les Dennis puts his hand up and admits his shortcomings. The failure of his first marriage was entirely down to him and his addiction to celebrity. His ability to look inside himself is what marks this book out from the crowd. The bravery of his appearance on "Extras" will stay with me for some time. Oh and did I mention... it's very funny.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! 30 April 2008
I read this book by accident, what I mean is my wife was reading it and didn't seem to be able to put it down so when she finally did (after about 2 days of solid reading) I seized the moment.

It is a surprisingly honest book and not the sort one would necessarily expect from a household name, however, bear in mind that this is someone who has gone from starring in top West End musicals to talking to chickens in the Big Brother House and then allowing his public persona (and very public marriage) to be ripped to shreds by the media before making an incredible comeback as himself in Ricky Gervais' Extra's.

He has worked with so many well known celebrities that the book is like a who's who of british comedy. Les Dennis is an institution and this book will earn him new admirers whilst endearing him even more to the many fans that have stuck by him.

A really interesting, touching, and amusing read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Les! 5 Aug 2008
I don't normally like reading autobiographies, however, I admire and respect Les Dennis and grew up watching him on TV so I wanted to read what he had to write.

This book is interesting, humourous, touching and ultimately uplifting as you learn about Les's rollercoaster ride through his successful and often turbulent career.

I had the pleasure of meeting Les on Family Fortunes. I used to be a copper in The Bill and we had a team competing against London's Burning (we lost. Grrrr!) and Les was charming, approachable and incredibly professional as he whizzed through a classy presenting masterclass.

This is a thoroughly entertaining read. Well done, Les.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple, honest and refreshing read 9 May 2008
It is great to read something which is honest and strips away the TV persona which everyone thinks they see and assumes that we know the person.

It also portrays the fact that Les is simply a normal bloke who has had to deal with the difficulties of operating in a public life, and having his personal life exposed in the media in full.

The ability and difficulty to steer through living your life in public should never be underestimated - so it's a sobering thought for all of us who don't have to live in that way, especially when we criticise those in the public eye as we simply cannot comprehend it.

Les has written this book from a perspective that he is (and we are all) fallible and human so it's not pretentious in any way. A good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy 27 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase
I purchased the Les Dennis autobiography, after learning on the website it was a very good read! I was not disappointed!
I really enjoyed the book! Les is very honest, I thoroughly recommend! I would also like to commend the seller, the book arrived promptly and for a used copy, was in excellent condition, I will be buying again from this website!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charmingly endearing 12 May 2008
Verified Purchase
Les Dennis has written a very moving account of his turbulent life, a life full of ups and downs, of laughter and regret.. I have read many "honest" autobiographies, but none have moved me as this book has. There is no pretence, no drama, just an honest-to-goodness account of Les' very difficult experiences. He travels painfully from young boy to adulthood and takes the reader with him all the way. Les comes over as a charming and forgiving human being and gives us a real insight into the "real" man.

May he be blessed with many, many years of happiness with his wonderful partner and daughter: he has clearly earned some peace!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 22 April 2008
At last, the chance to learn the only credible side of this man's amazing life written with admirable transparency. When you read this book you'll be touched by a very dignified, human side of a much-loved celebrity that has enabelled this man to cope with his life's roller coaster years and yet still remain a national treasure throughout. An extraordinary life story from an extraordinary man.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars les dennis
Brilliant set matters straight for Les have passed it on to other fans
Good insight into Les Dennis's feelings Wellstone Les
Published 2 months ago by Doreenh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I really enjoyed this book, Les is very honest and I found this refreshing. His story was interesting from childhood. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chrissie
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good read.
Although I found this book a good read I would have liked it to have gone into more detail about his career but on the whole It was quite interesting.
Published 9 months ago by Ant
5.0 out of 5 stars Must the Show Go On? by Les Dennis
An interesting and easy to read incite into the life and loves of Les Dennis. Entertaining, sometimes sad but in the end he found what he was looking for and his resilience,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. C. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Dennis
The book arrived in excellent condition. I loved this book and am actually reading it!! Thanks for sending it so quickly.
Published 11 months ago by Silvi
5.0 out of 5 stars Thankfully the show did go on.
The honesty in Les' writing is so refreshing. You will find yourself taking many a sharp intake of breath together with a lot of laughing and be prepared to wipe away a tear or... Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2008 by R. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest autobiography
Les really lets it all hang out in this very witty, enjoyable and at times, painfully sad journey. I really admire his honesty in admitting his past desire to be perceived as... Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2008 by Clarey R
5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the tin!
If you are looking for one of those celebrity biogs where they tell you nothing but who they've met and had a nice time with - avoid this. Read more
Published on 23 April 2008 by A. B. A. Wells-hardy
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