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Nothing Like a Dame: My Autobiography Paperback – 1 Sep 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition edition (1 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007107668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007107667
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

"As time moves on like the waves on the seashore that I love to watch, I realize that there's no going back. I'm just hoping that the Good Lord is pleased with how I have used the talents he invested in ves all those years ago."

Dave Thora Hird's life story brings us humorous and affectionate reminiscences, from the early days of being "spotted" by George Formby to her BAFTA-winning performances for Alan Bennett's Talking Heads.

Theatrical anecdotes guide us through her West End successes and film roles, alongside Arthur Askey, Normon Wisdom, Alan Bates and Joan Sims. And she recalls with fondness her well-loved television series, including Praise Be! and Last of the Summer Wine.

Widely acknowledged for her work, she also talks bout her wonderful marriage to husband, Scottie, the achievements of her daughter, Janette, and the support of the friends who surround her.

For the many people she has delighted over the years, Nothing Like a Dame will be an enduring testament to one of Britain's best-loved personalities.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Mather on 4 April 2012
Format: Paperback
The longest lunch I ever had was with Thora Hird, an actress whose modesty was as remarkable as her talent: it lasted around five hours, and it was a pleasure to meet her then as it is a pleasure to remember now. So how did that conversation go? Here is some of it:

Thora Hird left school at 14, sold music on the pier, played the piano in the kitchen, tap-danced, worked for her father in his office.(he was manager of Morecambe's West End pier for a time, then moved to the Alhambra), and worked for Blundell the draper (shrouds, ties, modesty vests).

She wore a navy blue dress, black silk stockings and dark knickers to Blundell's. There were Victorian hat pins that had to be rubbed with emery paper, and 32 boxes with brass handles that required cleaning. Thora was fired after being accused of stealing a halfpenny. Mrs Blundell was convinced the halfpenny had been stolen, and Thora was terrified of the woman who was "like a tram ticket sideways, she was so thin." Father said she should quit. Thora, appalled by the accusation, gave her employer a few sharp words, and thereafter went to the Co-op for a job, which she got after describing to a committee in cheerless surroundings the appalling saga of the halfpenny in all its detail.

"It was Christmas Eve. I took two half crowns out of my money box and nipped across from the shop to the Benefit boot shop for a pair of slippers for my mother. They cost four shillings and elevenpence halfpenny (25p ). I put the halfpenny change in my pocket. When I returned to Blundell's and bent down, the halfpenny rolled away." Mrs Blundell drew her own conclusions.

It was a highly dramatic moment in a life signposted by them.
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By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Nothing Like a Dame' is a combined volume of Thora Hird's two volumes of memoir: 'Scene and Hird' and 'Is It Thora', published in 1976 and 1996 respectfully. This 2001 collection of both books also includes a detailed chorological of her life and career up to 1998.

Thora Hird was one of the real national treasures in British theatre, film and television. She claims that she wrote her first book so that her grandchildren in America could read something about her, written 'buy her'. I'm glad that she did, because both autobiographies make for nice reading for her legions of fans. The remarkable thing is, she was sixty-five when she wrote it, but the busiest and most successful period of her career was to come later. The second volume covers her seventeen years presenting 'Praise Me', her two classic comedy series 'In Loving Memory' and 'Hallelujah!', her highly popular role in 'Last of the Summer Wine', and her BAFTA win for her heart-breaking performance in the Alan Bennett play 'Cream Cracker Under the settee'. Here was a lady who could handle comedy and drama in equal measure.

Thora writes fondly about her childhood in Morecambe, and has a warm, witty and simple writing style. Her personality comes across beautifully, punctuated by a very dry sense of humour. The stories she shares and the anecdotes she reveals about the many actors she worked with are a joy to hear. She also talks candidly about her long marriage to her late husband she affectionately called 'Scotty', and her daughter, fellow actress Janette Scott.

In short, a cosy read, like having a conversation with the Dame in person. It's a shame she is no longer with us, but her vast work in the entertainment industry will never be forgotten. I had to laugh though when she wrote "I don't know of many people who are asked to write their autobiography ... twice!''. In these days, in a world full of lesser known, much less talented 'celebrities' that we live in now, how times have changed.
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Format: Paperback
I got this for my Mum (95) so this is on her behalf. She loves it and keeps it by her bed to read if she wakes up as she says it is gentle and funny - about ideas that she grew up with too.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a very cosy autobiography, just what you would expect from Thora Hird. In fact, it is an amalgam of the two biographies she wrote: one in 1976 and one in 1996.

It is more about her and her family than her career as such. There is a wealth of detail about her early life in Morecambe, descriptions of the Pier and the Royalty Theatre. She details her family life, friends and the streets she lived in. Then come the jobs she had on the Pier, in the drapers and the Co-op to follow.

The book is full of love and nostalgia, detailed with care that hugs the reader in a warm embrace. It is good to feel the emotion coming from the pages. It is a testament to an ordinary way of life in the twentieth century and a great social history.

There is one drawback: it has a lack of detail about her work somehow. She tells us about working for Morecambe Rep but not any particular productions. When she talks about the plays in the fifties, she does give more detail, but there is not enough about how she went about the job as an actress - creating the characters.
There is also not much about working in films apart from the logistics.

All very nice, as you would expect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BrianR on 9 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Price was good The Deliery was excellant and the book was a good read.
as is normal with amazon
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