Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT: "J.F. Roberts's lively, warm-hearted True History of The Black Adder is a celebration of 'this incredible feat of comedy production'."
TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR: "An incredibly good job - and he got it RIGHT."
BARRY CRYER: "You're very charming, it's a pleasure to go on about it."
GRAEME GARDEN: "As Bibles go, I reckon THE CLUE BIBLE is among the top two."
THE TELEGRAPH: (The True History...) "Essential for any comprehensive comedy library..."
BRIAN BLESSED: "Tell them, 'Brian loves and trusts me.' What you're doing is so worthwhile, KEEP AT IT!"
Jem Roberts first emerged in Ludlow in the summer of 1978, and studied Film, TV and English Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He lives in Bath, where he performs comedy both solo, and with his troupe/band The Unrelated Family.
Having written for games magazines from an illegally young age, a decade of working on titles from DVD Review, Total Advance and Xbox World to Disney Girl and Muffin the Mule followed graduation, until scribblings for fanzines Publish & Bedazzled and Kettering led to an invitation to chronicle fifty years of silliness in his first book, The Clue Bible: The Fully Authorised History of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. When invited to suggest a follow-up, his lifelong devotion to Blackadder resulted in the marking of the 30th anniversary of the legendary sitcom's debut, with The True History of The Black Adder (As J.F. Roberts).
Jem has also been writing for children since long before anyone had ever heard of that Potter lad. 'Little Wee' was published in the charity collection Homespun Threads, an enormous new project, 'Brother Bernard' is currently boiling away on the hob, and he is working on a number of further books and literary projects for children of all sizes.
Customers Also Bought Items By
They had a cunning plan.
A few decades ago, three young grads from England's greatest universities - Oxford, Cambridge, and Hull (actually, Manchester) - came up with a historical comedy series. Few thought it would live long in the memory.
Today, Blackadder is a timeless comic masterpiece, and its stars have gone on to glittering careers. The True History of the Black Adder is the first ever history of one of Britain's greatest and most unique sitcoms, from its medieval beginnings to its legendary tragic finale.
Informed by exclusive - and hilarious - interviews with essential figures like Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Brian Blessed and many more, this the definitive account of how a British institution came to be, as well as a fascinating look into how this classic comedy was almost very different - and a compendium of brilliantly funny anecdotes from a team of Britain's most celebrated comedians.
British history is a patchwork of questionable stories, constantly rewritten, re-evaluated and ridiculed; final editorial control has always belonged to the winners. And nobody likes winners...
At last, Blackadder enthusiasts can now uncover THE cunning plan, in all its hideous hilarity.
Jem Roberts, acclaimed chronicler of Blackadder and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, covers everything from the excitement of being the first Perrier Award winners with The Cellar Tapes to the terrors of performing on Saturday Live, the collaborative warfare of Blackadder and the ultimate depiction of Wodehouse’s most inimitable characters, Jeeves & Wooster. Beyond this, the trials and tribulations of their remarkable subsequent separate career paths, from QI to House, will be explored for the first time.
With tantalising, never-before-seen titbits from the A Bit of Fry & Laurie archive, and interviews with Emma Thompson, Richard Curtis, John Lloyd and more, this history of Fry & Laurie is an overdue celebration, paying tribute to a legacy of laughter from one of the funniest double acts of all time.
'It's a great missing piece of the jigsaw - people go on endlessly about Python and Peter Cook, which is all well and good but there's basically this great corpus of work stretching for decades - and consistently good ... A major piece of work, and universally loved.'
So says John Lloyd, brains behind Blackadder, QI, Spitting Image, and so much besides - all shows with a massive debt to I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Together they form a body of work stretching across five decades, from Cambridge in 1960 to today's world-beating Antidote to Panel Games, a laughter-bringer which has inspired unparalleled adoration in millions over fifty series. This book tells the whole story, from Footlights to Broadway to the ferret-filled madness of Radio Prune - comedy's answer to the rock & roll revolution of the sixties. Offering an exhaustive guide to the comedy world that brought us Mornington Crescent, besides episode guides, glossaries and rare facsimiles, Jem Roberts will take the story right up to the present day, celebrating the lives of Willie Rushton, Sir David Hatch and of course, the irreplaceable Humphrey Lyttelton. With exclusive input from the Teams, plus Bill Oddie, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Neil Innes and many more, this is the long-overdue authoritative, entertaining and, above all, very silly lasting celebration of an unsung comic legacy that both shows so richly deserve.
As a wise ape once observed, space is big – vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly so. However, if you look too closely at space, it becomes nothing but lumps of rock and sundry gases. Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back, and let a few billion years go by, before any of the true wonder and scope of the cosmos becomes apparent.
Similarly, the late 20th century author, humorist and thinker Douglas Adams was big – vastly, hugely and thoroughly mind-bogglingly so, both in physical terms, and as a writer who has touched millions of readers, firing up millions of cerebellums all over planet Earth, for over 35 years – and for nearly half of that time, he hasn't even been alive.
It would be ridiculous to pretend that Douglas Adams's life and work has gone unexamined since his dismayingly early death at 49 but throughout the decade since the last book to tackle the subject, the universes Adams created have continued to develop, to beguile and expand minds, and will undoubtedly do so for generations to come.
An all-new approach to the most celebrated creation of Douglas Adams is therefore most welcome, and The Frood tells the story of Adams's explosive but agonizingly constructed fictional universe, from his initial inspirations to the posthumous sequel(s) and adaptations, bringing together a thousand tales of life as part of the British Comedy movements of the late 70s and 80s along the way. With the benefit of hindsight and much time passed, friends and colleagues have been interviewed for a fresh take on the man and his works.
77 timeless tales from up and down the length of Great Britain – Wales, Scotland, Kernow, England and the Isles – have been retold for the 21st century by curious storyteller Brother Bernard, with a tourist guide to the real location of each folktale included.
This road atlas of myth and mischief allows us to visit famed heroes King Arthur, Merlin, Robin Hood, Lady Godiva, Macbeth, Dick Whittington and Jack, but also those who should be more celebrated, like Molly Whuppie, Bran the Blessed, Bladud, Taliesin and Tom Thumb.
Since Britain became an island eight millennia ago, generations of immigrants have made their home here in Albion, creating their own stories, which have become part of the richly stocked treasury of British folklore.
Some are strange, some are sad, some are exciting, some are scary, many are silly, and at least two are totally daft. Brother Bernard retells these restored tales with devotion to the ancient legends, but with a fresh eye and added anarchic vim to be enjoyed anew.