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The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: The Clue Bible from Footlights to Mornington Crescent Paperback – 2 Sep 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; Reprint edition (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184809132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848091320
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Were it not for Jem Roberts and his encyclopaedic knowledge of Clue - its dizzying array of antecedents, its career on radio and on the road and its inside information on the regular members of the cast, past and present - my memory of that particular show and of many another high spot, would be a lot hazier than it is now" (Daily Mail)

"A gift for Clue obsessives" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

The official, definitive, exhaustive, complete history and doings of the antidote to panel games: I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. With forewords by Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jem Roberts is indeed a "gem" and no doubt could have taken part in any programme of this superb history of radio comedy. His quirky sense of humour, married to a gift for background detail and analysis makes this book un-toppable. LOL [laughing out loud] is not something I do very often, usually confined to Clue and older chestnuts like Week Ending, but I haven't stopped while reading this book. I wouldn't personally agree that "I'll Read That Again" deserves quite the space given to it, but it does show the roots and shoots that followed thereafter, having originally intertwined via Footlights and general Oxbridge humour. An absolute MUST for any radio comedy fan, however young/old you are!
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