Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Refreshed in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars8
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£12.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2006
This is important to bear in mind because some may pick this up more for stories and anecdotes concerning the stars of the various sitcoms that David Croft has written over the last 30 - 40 years. To remind those who may not be familiar with all of Croft's repertoire Croft has been responsible with writing partners Jeremy Lloyd and Jimmy Perry for the following: Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi, 'Allo 'Allo, and Are You Being Served?

Croft chronicles his life through his childhood as the son of actress and theatrical producer Annie Croft and his estranged father and Hollywood actor Reginald Sharland, through his life in the Army during the Second World War and focussing naturally on his career as comedy writer and BBC producer.

Croft's biography to my mind should be commended for the way he deals with the tabloid controversy that occasionally marked his life; he acknowledges, hints at the content and then moves on. So if it is thrills from his mistakes in life you are looking for you will be surely disappointed.

So to explain the title (I avoided the obvious "You have been reading...") this book is thin, probably deliberately so, about the vast number of comedy characters that David Croft has worked with. There is very little mentioned of the likes of Arthur Lowe, John Inman, Windsor Davies, Gordon Kaye etc. All that is hinted at is that some were difficult, some were charming and others couldn't stand each other on set that required Croft's mediation. This is not to detract from the book which is a biography of a writer and producer; but if it detail of the characters you will be disappointed. For example several characters from the various sitcoms are barely mentioned at all - for example Kenneth Connor doesn't even get a mention!

As with a lot of biographies written by people late in life there is an agenda - a dig at BBC - specifically the John Birt reforms. Accordingly there are a few pages to get through on the state of the BBC and television today; Croft is probably right but this media politics for me doesn't sit well in the book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2010
David Croft is one of the greats of British comedy and British TV. He's written sitcoms, musicals and plays; he's produced and directed some hugely popular shows; he's spotted and nurtured some of the best character actors and comic performers around; and he's contributed in many ways to the golden era of entertainment. As the co-writer of such hits as Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, Hi-de-Hi, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, etc, he has many great stories and insights to share. There are no snipes and sneers - the man is a gent - but there is plenty to savour about a great time in British TV.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2011
I was really looking forward to reading this book having admired David's work over many years.But,I ended being somewhat disappointed by the lake of content.I am sure most readers were eager to find out all the insight into their favourite characters from the sitcom's they liked the most with lots of behind the scenes gossip about relationship's etc.

Perhaps he should have trusted someone else to write a biography instead, like John Fisher who has done such fine work covering Tony Hancock and Tommy Cooper's careers,so do not buy this book expecting it to be like the cover.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed this book because I knew so many of the names recalled in the many stories of shows both stage and television. The index is good pinpointing individuals. There are plenty of photographs and I got a feel for david Croft as a very talented and professional person. It has to be said that we will not see his like again and for all his television series I say "thank you".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 October 2013
An enjoyable book which goes into the author's life in a way that perhaps a reader wouldn't expect. I suspect that most purchasers would be most interested in the inside stories behind the TV series that made the author justly famous. These stories are covered to some extent but the majority if the book concentrates on the early life of the author and, to a large degree that of his parents - and his mother in particular. The result for me was frustration to some extent. A good book but one with flawed balance in my opinion. It could have been far better.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 March 2015
Wasn't bad but I have to admit I was more interested in reading about the shows he created than his early life I wish he had added more about the shows and stuck to a few chapters about his life however David Croft is a brilliant man who wrote brilliant shows and this was a great buy
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 February 2013
a great read on the life of one of Britains most iconic comedy writers David Croft, good bless you for bringing this to us.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2014
A great book with a lot of Unknown facts about David Croft and Jimmy Perry classic Sitcoms. Highly recommended
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Dad's Army: The Story of a Classic Television Show
Dad's Army: The Story of a Classic Television Show by Graham McCann (Paperback - 1 Sept. 2002)

"Hi-De-Hi!" Companion
"Hi-De-Hi!" Companion by Rob Cope (Paperback - 1 Nov. 2009)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.