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3.8 out of 5 stars
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When people talk about icons of the Sixties the names usually mentioned are the likes of Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richard and Bob Dylan. As a boy growing up then I maintain that you should add to that list the names Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Connor and Leslie Phillips. As much as anything the saucy postcard humour of the Carry On and Doctor films defined the era. Back in the fifties British comedy films tended to be on the tame side but the Carry On and Doctor films changed all that.

Even today these films are often repeated on TV and remain popular. That is why even though Leslie Phillips as carved out an impressive career as a serious actor I for one will always think of him in is comedy persona - that of the upper-class, slightly lecherous, predatory male. To a degree, in this book Leslie Phillips writes a little like that too, as too many times his descriptions of the women he as worked come across as being a bit over lascivious. That is my only complaint about this book though, as I found it very entertaining and would highly recommend it.

Of particular interest to me were chapters about his early life in Tottenham, where because (or maybe despite) money was short his mother enrolled him at the Italia Conti stage school, and his days in the army during the war, where after qualifying to become an officer he was invalided out on health grounds.

As theatrical autobiographies go this book is very good.
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on 2 January 2007
Leslie Phillips provides a very diverting collection of remeniscences which proved an enjoyable and undemanding Christmas read. However, several of the anecdotes do tend to fizzle out rather, some of the encounters with fascinating characters are left hanging in the air (whatever became of the delightful Scottish landlady?) and I would particularly have loved to have heard more about the wonderful James Robertson Justice. Leslie does hint that he could have filled another book with memories, so perhaps he will!
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on 23 April 2016
I already have the audio cd's of Leslie's autobiography to listen to while on my delivery round but I also wanted the actual book as he's one of my favourite comedy actors. I haven't read it yet as it only arrived today, ahead of scheduled delivery date too, but a quick 'skim' through shows much more detail & photo's too. It's a brilliant book whatever the format. It's a must for fans of Leslie Philips...!
NB having now read the book I couldn't recommend it more. It is a lovely read & deals with some very personal times in Leslie's life, both funny & very sad. I particularly liked the anecdote about the film Brothers in law...but to be honest there are very many more brilliant anecdotes. My advice would be buy it...
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on 25 November 2006
Highly entertaining and wonderful to hear Leslie read it. Recommend it to any fan, casual or dedicated. Its not hugely informative, but on 4 CD's you cant put detail of that life into that short s time. Loved it and the man.
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on 16 January 2007
I liked Leslie Phillips until I read this book. There are very few anecdotes in the book, and what there is, tend to peter out or be terribly pointless. He's met and worked with so many great people, I expected to read more detail about them. However, it's all very much about him (yes, I realise it's an autobiography). There are numerous mentions of the great people he has met, yet no depth or interest. Virtually everyone he mentions was a good friend/marvellous/lovely person etc. - very much in the luvvie mould. Yet most merely get name-checked. If someone has been a tremendous friend, I'd expect to read a little more about the relationship. He's travelled to some fantastic places but somehow manages to avoid painting a mental picture. It's almost vacuous. As regards his first wife Penny, and his affair that led to their divorce, he seems more concerned with the fact that his wife's best friend told Penny about the affair. One is left with the impression that the friend was in the wrong. He's so often sanctimonious about the affairs he could have had, but didn't, yet he still did the dirty on his wife and mother of his children. More than once he mentions how hard he had to work to provide for his family, but I was left with the impression that it was less like work, and more like having a fantastic time away from the family. Most of the writing is quite pedestrian, seeming mostly to be a list of plays, dates and people, but lacking much substance. I've read a lot of similar books and wouldn't recommend this one at all.

In future I'll stick to biographies written by professional writers.
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on 27 October 2015
Very interesting life, was surprised by the range of roles Leslie has played and the countries he has worked in. Work appears to have dominated his life to the detriment of some of his relationships. I have always been pleased to see his films, they are good fun (the earlier ones). I will look to see his later works having read about them.
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I was really pleased to see that Leslie Phillips had written his autobiography as I've always wanted to know a little more about him. I've grown up watching him starring in comic roles in the "Carry On" films and the "Doctor" film series and I've also enjoyed his later straight roles whether they've been in film or TV. :-)

Leslie Phillips was born in Tottenham in 1924, he'd a very hard up bring and mainly lived in poverty for most of his childhood. He lost his father when he was 10yrs old and decided he wanted to get a job to help out his mother with the bills. Leslie began his theatrical career before the war and later got into films.

Throughout his book he tells us about the famous people he's worked with and about his many struggles during his career. Leslie also tells us about how he different from his onscreen persona as a bounder.

Personally I found his book to be a compulsive, enjoyable and interesting read.:-)

I'd highly recommend it to anyone that's enjoyed watching the great Leslie Phillips in action.:-)
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on 12 August 2008
Flows well but not an entertaining read I'm afraid. Quite a boring book with little of a revealing nature. I wanted a good laugh but perhaps I should have watched one of Leslies films instead.
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on 22 January 2007
An entertaining read from the old smoothie. Leslie Phillips has had a very long career in the acting business, and it's a measure of his talent that he was able to switch from light comic roles to straight drama at a relatively late age. Leslie has an eloquent writing style, and his descriptions of his travels abroad, particularly to his holiday home in Ibiza, make one rather envious of his lifestyle.

Not surprisingly, there are also some amusing anecdotes in the book, and in my opinion (although Leslie wasn't greatly pleased by it), by far the funniest story was when someone left unwanted 'little presents' at a theatre he was working at. The theatre management eventually called in the Old Bill, who advised that the management should lock the theatre doors (at this point, one of the theatre staff really should've said "No s**t, Sherlock").

The outcome was that a member of staff was sacked and there were no more 'gifts', although when the fired employee started work at another theatre, the present-giving didn't restart, hence the Mystery of the Brown Bombers was never solved. All in all, the book is an excellent piece of work from a British comedy legend.
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on 26 July 2012
This wasn't what I expected. I used to love Leslie Phillips in films. He was one of those characters who never failed to deliver his charm to the ladies and...so to the audience. However, this CD hasn't much charm to it at all. Leslie Phillips speaks mostly about himself and how great he thought he was and there isn't much about any of the interesting characters he would have met along the way. This would have been far less boring than the blow-by-blow account of how he made it big...and a lot less irritating than the rather flippant way he tells of his unfaithfullness to his wife. There seemed to be little or no remorse. Personally, I prefer autobiographies to be more entertaining than this and, because of that, I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for some laughs.
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