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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Peasant...
Chris Morris is undoubtedly one of the funniest people ever to have emerged from the world of satire, and it has to be said that this book is a great tribute to him. Known for his anonymity, and his secretive manner, this could by no means have been an easy book for Lucian Randall to write-the nearest thing he got to approval from Morris was the fact that he met him for...
Published on 17 Jan 2011 by Samuel Peers

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars As good as it reasonably could be
There is an obvious problem with writing a biography of anyone who is still alive, which is that they will continue to do stuff and therefore any biography will be incomplete. And that has happened here. There is reference to Nathan Barley but not to Four Lions - which is likely to be waht future generations remember Chris Morris for.

And then there's a...
Published 18 months ago by James Rands


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Peasant..., 17 Jan 2011
Chris Morris is undoubtedly one of the funniest people ever to have emerged from the world of satire, and it has to be said that this book is a great tribute to him. Known for his anonymity, and his secretive manner, this could by no means have been an easy book for Lucian Randall to write-the nearest thing he got to approval from Morris was the fact that he met him for one very brief interview,and responded to no further requests. In other words, he "didn't say no". But the book's subject has clearly been greatly researched. It provides some rather interesting information about his early life, in particular his musical interests. It later goes on to describe his formative years as a radio presenter for various stations, eventually seeing him being both hired and fired by the BBC, after a remark about Michael Hesseltine's "death". It gives a fascinating look behind the creation of both On The Hour and The Day Today, and some background information about Knowing Me Knowing You. But any Morris fan will find the Brass Eye section most interesting, since it provides a full account of the difficulties faced by the production staff, trying their hardest to justify Noel Edmonds being duped into campaigning against "Cake", and persuading Morris to wear a padded jacket whilst annoying West London drug dealers. There are also many other facts about the series that are guaranteed to make you laugh. In particular, I was highly entertained by the story of the time Morris discreetly added a nasty caption about Michael Grade that saw him banned from channel 4.
There is, unfortunately, nothing about Four Lions, apart from a tiny mention of an "upcoming project", but the likelihood is that Randall had finished the book by the time of release, so we can't blame him for that one. Overall, Mr. Randall has earned a great deal of re-cocking-spect from me.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome in fair but incomplete Morris, 15 April 2010
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Any book about Chris Morris is going to be incomplete, but this one gets pretty close - he was contacted and didn't not agree to it, so that's about as solid gold permission as you can get from this slippery comic.

I was interested to find out about On the Hour, Brass Eye etc in detail, but felt that Nathan Barley was very short-changed. That was the main reason I was reading, so I galloped through looking for mentions of it and there were only two very brief asides.

This is a respectable leap into the Morris-shaped void, full of interesting commentary from his collaborators and as close as we're ever likely to get from the real thing. Hopefully there'll be an update after Four Lions hits.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read-o-geddon!, 16 April 2010
By 
Spencer Jones "Todd Bulky" (Exeter, UK) - See all my reviews
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When one thinks of Chris Morris and his attendant genre, what's the first thing that pops like a muddied speechbubble out of the old grey matter? Is it the gut-wrenchingly funny, painfully accurate news/sport spoof of The Day Today? (e.g BOOF! Eat my goal!) Or is it the intense, dark, uber-artistic Blue Jam? ("....Lizards!") Or, perhaps, the unstoppable satirical juggernaut that was Brass Eye? ("...crimes we know nothing about are going up as well!")

If you loved any or all of these, this book is something you should have been waiting for. Not only does Randall make it all hang together as one contiguous narrative, but it also bears repeated reads and, usefully, it works as a reference volume for the whole genre. Anecdote and insight are accompanied severally by fascinating biographical details and large helpings of the material itself. There may be stuff you know, but a great amount of unearthing has been done here; and, whilst the book does not unmask Morris fully, it also gives the distinct impression that the mask is part of the plan. You end up seeing just as much of the man as you feel you should.

Neither overly reverential nor lazily written, this is a cracking read about an auteur who not only demands your attention, but truly commands it. Read this, or receive a speaking-down...!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only bio of the Dark Lord of Comedy, 4 Oct 2010
By 
E. George (London) - See all my reviews
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Chris Morris is an elusive figure - quoted and copied more often than you would realise, but since the media storm over the Brass Eye Special in 2001 he has stayed firmly out of the public eye. This book is full of great stories about the making of his most influential series - The Day Today, Brass Eye - and all of the messy politics and personal battles behind it. It's a shame the book only touches on his first feature film, Four Lions, which was in production when the book was published, but you can't have everything. I loved this book - and read it voraciously in a day. If you're a fan of Chris Morris, this helps lift just a little bit of the veil...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morris Major: and he IS like this., 15 Feb 2014
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Mr. G. Morgan "wes" (Haywards Heath, England) - See all my reviews
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Reading this book, so far three times in a year, I can attest that it can make a susceptible person laugh till it hurts as it hurt me. Yeah I can see that, interim book that it is, this excludes, of necessity, Morris's work of more recent, Barley and 'Four Lions' vintage. But it gives an indelible impression of the man's intelligence, his exploiting of what is sometimes indubitably puerile, his Swiftian (and it is) satire of real anger sublimated in some startlingly prescient parodies of the 'moronic inferno' of modern meedja/24 hours news culture in 'The Day Today' and, infamously, in 'Brass Eye'. The anecdotes are rich and help give a picture of an exotic yet reassuringly nice bloke; they are illustrative of a very complex, essentially likeable man who magnanimously allowed friends to speak to Randall, with one condition (read the book to find out). The analysis of Morris's working methods and the nature of his comedy is extremely deft and intelligent, making this one of the very few truly enlightening books about comedy, distinguishing Morris sharply from tiresome shock merchants like the odious (indeed pointless) Littlejohn and Limbaugh, who do little more than shout inanely in print and radio. Morris is demonstrably quite unlike them in talent,(he has it, they don't), achievement and purpose. He is at heart a prankster and a deeply serious person, a sort of Beadle meets Lenny Bruce. Having met the man once and enjoying his yammer (I really did, he is a terrific talker and like the best, a listener too), I can see why he inspires such loyalty and admiration. As an opportunity to appreciate a comic genius, (and boy is this man funny and bright), this book is an essential purchase. He will assuredly do something great (well he has) but it makes you wonder what he is up to now, for you may be sure that up to something he certainly is. Marvellous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris (Kindle Edition)
Despite Morris's reticence to be directly interviewed for this book, the author has done a great job in terms of stringing the subject's friend's stories together into an entertaining and informative piece. There are some moments that are just incredibly funny.

Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good solid account, despite the obvious difficulties, 7 May 2013
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For any lovers of Chris Morris's work ('comedy' seems not quite the right word), this is an essential read. Randall's done a good job of assembling all the facts in one volume, interviewing the relevant people, and providing an account of Morris's career. I was impressed by his thoroughness in identifying particular programmes and news events which had inspired parts of 'On The Hour' and 'Brass Eye'. He's also clearly a huge fan, and picks out some great anecdotes and killer quotes.

Unfortunately, though, you still feel at the end of the read that he's barely scratched the surface. Maybe that's inevitable with a playful, evasive, private figure like Chris Morris. The book is certainly readable and leaves you with a new appreciation of the work, but I want more! Unless Chris Morris suddenly decides he wants to open himself up to the world and do lots of interviews, though, I don't know if I'm ever going to get it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars As good as it reasonably could be, 7 April 2013
By 
James Rands (Europe) - See all my reviews
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There is an obvious problem with writing a biography of anyone who is still alive, which is that they will continue to do stuff and therefore any biography will be incomplete. And that has happened here. There is reference to Nathan Barley but not to Four Lions - which is likely to be waht future generations remember Chris Morris for.

And then there's a problem with writing a biography of Chris Morris. Morris is a notoriously difficult character. Randall explores this in the brief intro. He says that "Chris Morris never told you what to think, and he gave away little of his motivation." and that he "has a reputation for being both hard to pin down and extremely approachable". When Randall gets an interview with Morris you rather assume that he has made the leap that others could not. In fact that's not quite what happened Morris gave his blessing(ish) and allowed friends and family to be interviewed but didn't play any further part in the story of the book.

So with the main character not contributing what happens? Well Morris evidently remains a mystery to many who worked closely with him. Theories as to his motivation are provided and rapidly shot down by those he knew best. No theory really amounts to anything more than mere speculation.

You do get a chronological account of Morris's work which includes a few factoids that you may be unfamiliar with. For example when Morris interviewed a real-life paedophile for the infamous paedophile special I didn't realise it was an actual real-life paedophile which turns what looks like some rather limp bad taste comedy into something quite significant. But besides some asides like that - the book doesn't really illuminate anything and its rather deferential tone is such that even Morris few failures such as Nathan Barley are treated as acts of genius.

Ultimately, you just don't get to write a biography of a living person unless either he or someon very close to him is cooperating and Randall didn't have that so what we get is just a straight and then he did this and following that he did this and then.. account, which is fine insofar as it goes, which is not very far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief history of recent comedy time, 24 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris (Kindle Edition)
This is as close as you are going to get to an autobiography of Chris Morris.

The brain behind Brasseye, Four Lions, who came to fame during the day today/On the hour.

The book charts his rise to fame and the stories that have built up around him.

If you are a fan the book is likely to be of interest, but if not this is probably not going to covert you. An interesting read to see behind the scenes of the conflict and problems behind programs like Brass Eye and obviously written from a fans point of view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello You!, 10 Jun 2011
Very well researched, well written and interesting book. Good insight into the world of brilliant satirist Chris Morris. Several laugh out loud moments that had been being looked at very strangely by the locals on an internal Chinese flight. Worth every penny to anyone interested in the work of Chris Morris.
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