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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Longer Clueless
The first half of this, largely, excellent book traces the careers of a small group of satirists and comedians from Cambridge Smokers to Clue via Footlights, revues, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, The Goodies, Hello Cheeky and numerous other less well remembered projects and, over that time, there are comedy connections to most of the greats of the last 40 years. It is...
Published on 23 Dec 2009 by T. Mantripp

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best pictures are on the radio ... not on the Kindle
Other reviewers have adequately described and praised this book so I won't retread those paths except to agree that it certainly is an excellent, interesting and insightful history of two of the best-loved British comedy radio programmes. However, be advised if you get the Kindle version you won't see any pictures except for one, a photo of an early ISIRTA script. Despite...
Published on 18 Sep 2011 by Henry B


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Longer Clueless, 23 Dec 2009
By 
T. Mantripp (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The first half of this, largely, excellent book traces the careers of a small group of satirists and comedians from Cambridge Smokers to Clue via Footlights, revues, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, The Goodies, Hello Cheeky and numerous other less well remembered projects and, over that time, there are comedy connections to most of the greats of the last 40 years. It is only half way through that we are finally introduced to Humph, Barry and Willy.

The author tries to make a case for ISIRTA being the greatest of all radio scripted comedy. Having been too young to have listened to it when first broadcast I have only encountered it far down the line via, the wonderful, BBC Radio 7. As the author writes in another context perhaps you had to be there at the time.

Of course after nearly 40 years Clue has undergone massive changes in style - if not in cast. Most of the early years got wiped by the BBC long ago but those episodes left are a much gentler affair than the current, barely broadcastable, riot with its systematic victimisation of Lionel Blair and the infliction of Jeremy Hardy's "singing" on an unsuspecting world. It was a succession of young producers - Perkins, Mayhew Archer on - who slowly transformed the game into what we know now. Jack Dee has the right personality and wit to keep it going.

I am sure some people saw this title and feared it was a cut and paste rush job to exploit the good will we all had for Humph. Nothing could be further from the truth, this book has clearly been pieced together by a decent writer over a long period and with significant input from most of those involved over the best part of 50 years. My one criticism is that the author likes everyone a little too much. There are hints that there were tensions - Oddie's moods, Cleese's ego, Kendall being the "token" woman and marginalised, Rushton not even trying to contribute to games he disliked - but these are not really explored. What we are left with is a celebration of people and programmes much loved by a large number of people. As Neil Young said, long may they run.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin, 14 Jan 2010
By 
GordonD (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is a book that you *can* judge by its cover - it shows Humph and the rest of the 'ISIHAC' gang in a pose based on Leonardo's 'Last Supper'. Inside is an in-depth history not only of 'Clue' itself but of its predecessor 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' and of other Radio 4 comedies including 'Hello Cheeky!' starring Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer.

I believe there are two types of people in the world - those who love 'Clue' and those who haven't discovered it yet. The former will adore this book and with any luck it will encourage the latter to seek out this comedy gem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clue Bible - result!, 2 Jan 2010
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This was well received as a gift for a Clue fan who rarely finds time to read books. But he's had his nose in this book ever since, with much chuckling to be heard!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars abundant wit and mirth, 8 Jan 2013
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I found this book of the best of forty years of my favourite radio comedy programme irresistible.Other members of the house wondered why guffaws of laughter kept resonanting from the lounge at all hours
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What to say?, 8 May 2013
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Any Clue book is, by definition, superb and this one doesn't disappoint. It is a feast of information for the obsessive devotee and for the recently initiated alike.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Myths and Anecdotes, 11 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent (Paperback)
This is very engaging read which brings to life the fascinating facts behinds the myths and anecdotes of some of the amazing key people that have made British comedy the envy of the world and have made us laugh so often and so loud over 6 decades or more. Jem Roberts has produced a terrific and authorative book that will be up there with the best of comedy histories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking In A Wonder Hinterland, 30 Jan 2013
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent (Paperback)
I picked up this weighty tome thinking it would be a fun book to dip into and relive some of the puns and gags from the fifty-odd series of everyone's favourite radio comedy. However, after reading a couple of pages I realised this wasn't a mere collection of "best of"s and was, in fact, a proper chronological story. The history of some of Britain's true comedy greats, from Cambridge University in the 1960s to the present day. So, rather than picking my way through the "Bible" I read it cover to cover, enjoying it enormously.

Clearly, many of the jokes and skits and (particularly) the Chairman's speeches are retold here, and these are more than welcome, but generally this is a written record taken from the mouths of the principal players, at great length, by Jem Roberts. Roberts has performed a great service to the cultural history of Britain, I'd say, if it didn't sound so po-faced.

The book divides into two sections (or, inevitably,"Testaments") the first dealing mainly with the radio show "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" which led directly to The Goodies, Monty Python etc etc the second section is about "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" itself.

Part 1 is a bit more of a critical appraisal than Part 2, which is unashamedly the work of a fan of the show. I found the "ISIRTA" bits if anything more interesting, since I knew nothing about this ground breaking show. Also, unlike the apparent serenity of the "Clue" regulars, the earlier show, featuring John Cleese and Bill Oddie, who both seem more than capable of butting heads with their old friends, comes accross as a bit more frazzled.

The giant figure of Humphrey Lyttelton, who sadly died not long before the book's publication rightly looms genially over this "Bible" but, as Roberts acknowledges in the closing chapter, if it can be said to be the story of any one person, this is the history of Tim Brooke-Taylor, an ever present from the very start.

Great book about a great institution, you also feel that this "professional" history doesn't even touch on the whole of its subjects. Lyttelton, say, or Rushton, you feel, could be the subjects of long, facinating biographies without even mentioning their "Clue" work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ISIHAC perfection, 7 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent (Paperback)
Any ISIHAC fan will find this a perfect addition to their collection. Brilliant stories and jokes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Clued Up, 13 Oct 2010
Almost as many pages as the bible and yes split into two testaments! The first section concentrates on Footlights and I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. I was surprised at the talent that that radio programme generated and who wrote it.... The second section is all about "Clue" and Chairman Humph. It has some very insightful commentary from members of the team and was fascinating to read.

Definitely worth buying if you like Clue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The antidote to radio comedy books, 1 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent (Paperback)
Excellent read. An exhaustive account of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue and everything leading up to and between the two. A joy for fans.
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