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Funny Bones: My Life in Comedy Paperback – 31 Jul 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd (31 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0992703662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992703660
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 726,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'An invaluable record from a comedy superstar.'
Ken Dodd OBE

'I can’t get over how good Funny Bones is. Freddie Davies’ autobiography, co-written with Anthony Teague, is unquestionably one of the most honest and illuminating books I have read about the practice of comedy, never losing sight of the pressures and insecurities of a job that is prone to more ups and downs than a roller coaster. Along the way it provides fresh insights into other comedy greats, not least Sid Field, Sir Norman Wisdom, Frankie Howerd, Jerry Lewis, George Carl, Charlie Drake and Davies’ ostensible grandfather, the underrated revue comic Jack Herbert, who was a major influence on Field. It also vividly evokes the hollow shabbiness of so much of the late twentieth century British show business scene in that period betwixt the Beatles and Blur. In every way, a cornerstone of its genre.'
John Fisher, writer and producer

Book Description

In 1964, a single appearance on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks made ‘Parrotface’ comedian Freddie Davies famous overnight. Spectacular success followed; stars such as Judy Garland, Cliff Richard, even Cary Grant, were fans...

But when it all began to slip in the 1980s, Freddie became a producer and then forged yet another career as a serious actor. He appeared to great acclaim in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden and cult film Funny Bones - alongside Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis - based on tales of Freddie’s music hall comic grandfather Jack Herbert. Now he has come full circle, delighting audiences again as Samuel Tweet in theatres up and down the land.

Fifty years on from his television debut, Freddie finally tells his own story, revealing for the first time the tragedy behind his early days in Salford and a family secret that rocked his world. He paints a vivid and hilarious picture of a gruelling apprenticeship in the Northern clubs - and the night ‘Parrotface’ first spluttered into life.

With a foreword by legendary comedian Ken Dodd OBE, this unique autobiography is a poignant and hilarious evocation of a vanished world, offering insights into the art of stand-up and a richly nostalgic treat for comedy connoisseurs.

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Format: Paperback
This is a compelling book, a real labour of love by the ghost writer Anthony Teague and a poignant trip down memory lane in the company of the wonderful Freddie Davies. 'Parrotface' may not have quite made it to the stellar level of a Ken Dodd or a Benny Hill but he is a survivor who presents to the reader an unnervingly detailed record of sixty years in show business spanning the end of variety and the television age. He reminds us of that wonderful but disappearing world of pantos, working men's clubs, the variety circuits and despairing attempts to break through into the big time. We are presented with a cast of crooked agents, dodgy theatre managers, sad comics, wannabee crooners, failed ventriloquists and above all, funny men who in their private lives are often anything but. This is a world of individualists driven on by the search for the next killer gag or the next 'knock em dead in the stalls' routine. It is also a story of survival with the ever adaptable Freddie game for any challenge in show business from four chaotic and very funny years on the cruise ships to a standout performance as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Freddie Davies presents a history of British light entertainment over the past half century where there is always time to remember the small acts of kindness from fellow artists who helped him along the way. Funny Bones also answers profound questions such as why southern comics found it so difficult in the northern clubs, why he fell out with Mike Yarwood (whose name should be higher up the bill) and the grim details of just how Russ Conway was so appallingly difficult to work with. Unlike many books of this genre, it is beautifully written and contains a wealth of photographs that are in themselves a history of post- war light entertainment. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Freddie Davies is a thorough showbusiness professional and after reading this well written book, you will realise why. It's a fascinating look at a career which has spanned many genres. It is a very honest autobiography in which Freddie has detailed his failures as well as his successes. Having met the man, I can confirm he is a lovely bloke and greatly deserving of his fame. As a lover of show business biographies, I eagerly devoured this fascinating book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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In an age when being a so-called celebrity means having appeared on some vacuous reality show or getting on to the X Factor and sounding just like every other electronically-enhanced singer , how lovely to read a book by someone who has actually served a proper apprenticeship in the entertainment industry.
Freddie Davies has done it all........tough Working Men's Clubs , Butlins Holiday Camp, the Royal Shakespeare Company , T.V. shows including his own show, variety ,and series like Harbour Lights and Last Of The Summer Wine , and films like the classic "Funny Bones" (much of which was based on Freddie's own experiences and in which he demonstrates some fine and touching acting) and Harry Potter.
He writes of it all in an entertaining manner , is not afraid to chronicle his failures as well as his successes , and is still performing in his own live show at the age of 77.
This is a vastly entertaining and well written book , and the author ain't finished yet !
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Format: Paperback
Funny Bones by Freddie Davies is a serious piece of work. Not in the sense it is unfunny, as there is of course a lot of humour throughout, but it is a far more studied and well put together autobiography than I had expected. At 340 pages it covers Freddie's life and career in great detail, and also that of his grandfather, the comedian Jack Herbert, who proved an enormous inspiration for Freddie in his formative years. The research here is impeccable.
Freddie's career is here, warts an all, and in the glossy an apparently privileged world of show-business you really get the vulnerable and precarious side of maintaining an act and career too - and how hard it really is. He had his fair share of dealing with sharks over the years - strange venues, strange audiences, amazing audiences - extreme highs and money trouble lows. His dealings as a manager and promoter of many name acts is very interesting (having to work with strange divas like pianist Russ Conway is very revealing for one). And I would suggest this would be a good book for anyone looking to make a career on the stage - whether it be straight acting or comedic work. Davies's lifetime experiences of different stage crafts comes through well, and how using that knowledge can not only aid your own performance but equally enable you to adjust to that of others - particularly when say a comedian (non-actor background but differently schooled) rehearses and performs with trained actors (non-comedic and differently schooled). I found that fascinating and I'm neither a stand-up or actor.
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Unputdownable read.really interesting read.i know Freddie and Vanessa beautiful human beings and nice people.also our business is full of imposters who have no business in show business !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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