2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Helps if you like cricket,
This review is from: Fibber in the Heat (Paperback)
Miles Jupp is becoming an increasingly visible presence on British TV these days. He shows up on `Have I Got News For You' and `Would I Lie To You' - and I thought he was very authoritative on the entertaining documentary Andy Hamilton made about Satan. However when I first saw him, he wasn't a mid-ranked comedian at all - he was Archie the inventor on bizarre Scottish kids' programme `Balamory'. (I have young nieces, and so a certain level of exposure to these things). And it's in the period between him being on kids TV and him starting to make an impression as comedian that this memoir begins.
One day Miles, a great cricket fan, decided that the best career to have if you want to watch lots of cricket is a cricket journalist. (You can't fault the logic.) Armed with a story British film critic Barry Norman apparently used to tell that, when things weren't going well for him, he used to hang out in bars in Fleet Street pretending to be hard at work until people started beginning conversations with "Barry, I know you're busy, but could you possibly do something for us...." Miles blagged himself credentials from BBC Scotland and (Wales's) The Western Mail, to go cover the English cricket team's tour to India.
What follows is a genial and humorous guide to how he tried to fit in with the other 'journalists' when basically having the heart of a fan. The book is an almost laugh out loud funny travelogue, with anecdotes of misunderstanding placed on top of misunderstanding. Sometimes it's clear that it was based on a stand-up comedy show, but that's maybe why the more reflective parts work so well - they give the book an extra level of depth.
It doesn't hold its momentum throughout (as when Miles starts to get disillusioned with what he's doing and even with cricket itself, the tone does sink a little), but for the most part this is a highly amusing read, and one can't help admire the author for having the gumption to have gone through with such an elaborate - and simultaneously seat of the pants - facade.
Of course though, if you are going to read it, it does help to like cricket.