Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eric Sykes. A writer's writer., 3 Nov 2006
This review is from: If I Don't Write It Nobody Else Will (Paperback)
What a wonderful insight to a great man. From very humble beginnings to the very pinnacle of his profession. The cobbled streets of Oldham with the clip clop of horse's hooves, the enthralling world of the Mucky Broos, and a clear and nostalgic picture of an era from the past. When I was a kid I remember my father telling me about his similar working class surroundings, when permanent hunger was the norm, and I remember him speaking fondly of beef dripping on toast, a great delicacy, the caviar of its day. Along the journey of life, Eric has experienced the good times and the bad times and also some very near misses, when fortunately fate took over the controls and steered him away from the crash. Fate of course was in the form of the guiding hand of his late mother, the mother he never met in this world. His Guiding Angel throughout his life. I think most of us have a Guiding Angel watching over us but I also think that most of us are unaware of her presence. Our lives are usually so blanketed with noise, both externally and internally that we can't always hear what she has to say.

Probably the greatest comedy writer and performer of our time he is no stranger to tragedy, in fact one the most tragic and levelling stories in the book, which will always be imprinted on my mind is the graphic image of Eric's dying friend. But, at the other end of the scale there was the night he spent constantly visiting the toilet after an iffy evening meal on safari in Kenya. The following morning miraculously cured by a potion administered by the wife of one of our leading actors, he enjoys a tour of a Masai village. The guide informs him that the huts are all made of cattle dung to which Eric replies as only Eric can, `They should have told me this yesterday, I could have built them a town hall'. Ah, pure Sykes.

Being a comedy writer myself I can relate to the all consuming passion he has for the business. Eric has worked with them all, in that golden era and what is unfortunately sad but true, is that there's only a small handful of them left. There is an incredibly rich history within this book and I have read a lot of biographies and I have to say that this is richest and most colourful, in fact my all-time favourite. Thank you Eric, live long and prosper, we all need you for many more years to come.
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