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Still Standing: The Savage Years [Hardcover]

Paul O'Grady
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (600 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

11 Oct 2012

Paul O'Grady shot to fame via his brilliant comic creation, the blonde bombsite Lily Savage. In the first two parts of his bestselling and critically acclaimed autobiography, Paul took us through his childhood in Birkenhead to his first, teetering steps on stage. Now, in Still Standing, for the first time, he brings us the no-holds-barred true story of Lily and the rocky road to stardom…

Paul pulls no punches in this tale of barroom brawls, drunken escapades and liaisons dangereuses. And that’s just backstage at the Panto… Along the way, we stop off at some extremely dodgy pubs and clubs, and meet a collection of exotic characters who made the world a louder, brighter and more hilarious place. From the chaos of the Toxteth riots and the Vauxhall Tavern police raid, to the mystery of who shot Skippy and the great chip pan fire of Victoria Mansions, Paul emerges shaken but not stirred.

Still Standing will make you laugh and make you cry. Some of the stories might even make your hair curl. But it stands as a glorious tribute to absent friends and to a world which has now all but vanished.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (11 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593069390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593069394
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.8 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (600 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul O'Grady first came to fame in the guise of Lily Savage, and was nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991. Lily later became a regular on This Morning, took over the bed on The Big Breakfast and presented Blankety Blank, but has now retired. Paul, of course, went on to further success presenting the Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4. His first book, At My Mother's Knee, was the biggest selling autobiography of 2009.

Product Description


"As a narrator, stroppy of tongue but melting of heart, O'Grady still charms and tickles. The comic scenes with his truly mythological mum ("the Madame Defarge of Tranmere"; "Columbo in a flannelette nightie"; "Eleanor of Aquitaine with a chip-pan") can touch the hem of Alan Bennett's robe... Leaves most fiction and history of the era in the dust." (Boyd Tonkin Independent)

"Paul O'Grady's life has already filled two excellent volumes... Still Standing is another enjoyable and colourful read." (Roland White The Sunday Times)

"Honest, funny and supremely readable." (Sunday Express)

"I absolutely loved it." (Alan Carr)

"O'Grady has a playwright's ear for dialogue, and his salty descriptions of raucous gigs in rundown pubs are a rude delight." (Independent)

Book Description

The third installment of rollicking adventures from Britain's best-loved entertainer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but... 23 Oct 2012
By Tony
I really enjoyed the book. Paul keeps you engaged and turning the page.

I have to agree with Kevin though. The book ends just as he is about to hit the big time and I would have liked to hear about some of the showbiz parts of his life and more about his relationship with Murphy. He says that there won't be another book. Then again, he said he wouldn't do Lily again and he would never return to ITV.

I would still recommend buying the book! Not only is the book touching but very funny too.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COULDN'T STOP READING 12 Oct 2012
Downloaded on my kindle on day of release - finished in 3 hours, couldn't stop reading. He's such an involving writer = draws you in and takes you on all the laughs and trials too. Wish kindle showed the photographs in books too as would have helped bring it to life. Third volume and the best so far. Hope it doesn't end here!
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Roy Ellor VINE VOICE
This book did a rare thing. It made me cry.

Oh so much more than the third part of Paul O'Grady's memoirs. This book sums up a period in time which was almost like fighting a war against ignorance and bigotry, and the generals were the drag queens in places like the Vauxhall Tavern. Lily Savage was the brigadier. Ruling the stage at the venues Lily packed out whenever she appeared, this volume covers the emergence from mime drag acts of Lily as a live patter artist up to the period when she hit the big time and started appearing on TV. There's a fourth book waiting in there and I hope Paul writes it.

Where he takes the reader into uncharted waters is that period in the 1980s when HIV and AIDS started to claim the lives of young, frequently inexperienced gay men. One passage concerning a young lad who was positive after just two sexual encounters, and visiting him in hospital as he lay there blind and crippled, made me shed a few tears for all the lost souls of the time when nobody had an answer or a treatment to offer. Paul (and Lily) did the charity events, visited the sick in hospital and even performed on the wards. The drag queens and performers in the community really did lead from the front, and later seem to be written out of the history by the professional right-on crowd who assumed the mantle.

Lily was a tower of strength to the London gay community and this book needed writing, a testament not just to Ms Savage but everyone else who trod the boards in that turbulent and frequently horrific era. Read this book and you'll see just how much more there was (and still is) to Paul O'Grady and Lily Savage.

Oh yes, it's funny too. Very.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must say I am surprised that some have found Paul O'Grady's recent book "boring". I could not disagree more. After reading the first two I just could not wait to get my hands on the third and am so glad that I did. I find when you are reading Paul's books, you can hear his voice, they just seem so honest and you really are in the moment with him. There were some really touching times in this book - as there were in the last two - his heart was on the pages when he talked about those friends and family he has lost over the years, truly touching. I am at present "laid up" and "taken to me bed" in the words of one Mrs O'Grady recovering from an op which rendered me with stitches, I must say that Mr O is taking full responsibility if they split due to my laughter from reading this book ! I totally loved hearing about Lily's journey as well, I wont say too much in case other reviewers haven't read it yet. Well done Paul, I believe these books show you for the funny, intelligent, caring and wonderful person that you are.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel let down and a little cheated 18 Oct 2012
By Kevin T
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read both At my Mothers Knee and The Devil Rides Out, I couldn't wait for this installment.

As is usual with his writing, O'Grady draws you in and gets you really involved in the story, leaving no detail out. He can remember the minutiae of a conversation that happened 20 years ago, what he ate, what he wore etc... With this in mind, as I was reading the book I noticed that at 2/3 of the way through, he still really hadn't touched on Lily and how she hit the big time.

There is a lot of detail in there about his formative years in the pubs and clubs and all of this is very interesting, but just at the point where he's starting to get really noticed and getting TV work, the book jumps to 2012. He say's he's missed all the stuff out about Lily as he didn't think it was relevant!

I felt really disappointed. I'm a huge fan both of Lily & O'Grady and while it's been fascinating learning about his influences and where he's come from, I feel that more of this book could have been devoted to his time spent as Lily. She is/was such a huge part of his life, I find it incredulous that he would just miss it out.

He states in the book that he's not writing any more biographies, however, the cynic in me suspects there will be another best seller on the shelves in time for December 2014. And whilst it irks me to say it, I sincerely hope there is as without the Lily years, the story of his life will not be complete.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia 24 Nov 2012
By Stevo
I was there in the audience experiencing Lily & all his cabaret friends first hand back in those night clubbing days in the 80's & it's magical reading about it now. Dear Paul. A wonderful, wonderful read & hilarious. I don't think he's the sort to brag about his big showbiz tv career but sticks to the basics where he started, doing the hard graft. He's down to earth & grounded & that's why he skips straight to the present. But please, please write just one more autobiography,Paul. You have a wonderful gift. xx
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