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I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake Paperback – 5 Aug 1996
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'I enjoyed this book, and got a lot of good ideas from it' -
Chris Kilby, PGCE student
'An essential read for all trainee teachers… covers the literature and puts a strong emphasis on the how' -
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'This book guides you through a process of looking at your own teaching and properly building in some of the many new techniques it outlines. This book does not provide a magic wand, it instead provides a mirror onto one's own practice and allows you to make real, lasting improvements in the classroom'
'This book will provide ideas that motivate that most difficult of audiences, the teenager. It works well because it is broken down into quick ideas that can easily be built on to existing plans'
'This book's authors are both experienced classroom teachers with impressive CVs, immediately instilling faith that they will know what they are talking about and that they are giving advice and ideas about things they have actually done'
The humorous memoirs of criminal-turned-comedy agent Malcolm Hardee, who recalls a life of crime and misdemeanours before finding fame and fortune in the comedy boom of the 1980s. He also recalls how he did in fact, as the title suggests, steal Freddie Mercury's birthday cake.
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But I digress, the book is a rollocking read and tells how he swapped the horrors of borstal and prison for a life of comedy and performance. I'd recommend anyone to look up the balloon dance on the internet to witness how amusing it was, ditto the 'banger up the rear' routine. It takes the reader on a journey of how he became a stand-up performer within the 'greatest show on legs' troupe, his touring, drinking, womanising, electioneering and generally being a bit of a dodgy promotor/agent to other acts. There's also fond memories expressed of other acts such as Jo Brand (a former lover), Jerry Sadowicz, Arthur Smith and countless others. Some of the anecdotes, including the titular theft of Mr Mercury's Birthday Cake were pithy and well told.
In conclusion: a great book written a decade before Hardee's sad demise in his beloved Thames - he drowned whilst intoxicated on his 'Wibbly Wobbly Pub' barge, allegedly still holding on tight to the beer bottle. A tragic end for such a local character.
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