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on 27 May 2013
A Series of Unrelated Events is Bacon's autobiography, subtitled Misadventures of a Modern Man. On twitter he was asking people to skip the first chapter which tells of his downfall from being a `successful children's television presenter that nobody had heard of to an unsuccessful children's television presenter that everybody had heard of.' I however found the first chapter had me laughing, sympathising with him and his parents and thoroughly enjoying the tone of his book. I believe it was a clever idea to start with this chapter in his life as despite the often irreverent attitude to himself in the book you feel that he really cared about how his parents had been affected and that he still feels guilty for what he put them through. But don't get me wrong, it is all told in a humorous manner, one you are used to if you are a 5 live listener; you are glad to be able to hear more of the man's stories that feel like an extended show with him talking and none of the guests having to say a word. (Not that I'm knocking the guests, I just mean it's good to hear the detail of some of the stories that he has mentioned over the years.)

A chapter on Sally the Psychic is a master class in assuring one doesn't get sued...and will make you laugh whatever your beliefs. Okay, I'm not sure Sally will be laughing but you can't please all of the people all of the time. His escapades into film reviews which involved not actually watching the films - nor after a while writing the reviews himself - which just goes to show how much he is either liked, or has influence in the business, as he has recently become a member of BAFTA. Following Bacon's style of adding footnotes throughout the chapters, which works brilliantly and reinforces the chatty voice, I feel I should add one myself here along the lines of, `I am not suggesting in anyway whatsoever that Mr Bacon does not watch the films he votes for as a member of BAFTA...nor if I've dreamt this bit about him becoming a member of BAFTA I do apologise unreservedly. But I do know he is having a cinema built into his home and who does that other than if you have a serious interest in films. Or if you are a Premiership footballer. Which he isn't. He doesn't like football as can be seen from footnote 72.' (See, unlike some film reviewers from The People I have actually read the piece before reviewing it.)

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Bacon takes us through his time working at McDonald's, his stint on The Big Breakfast, his wedding day and an unfortunate moment during a dinner party. His ability to laugh at himself and take the reader on a journey of his thoughts on various situations, make this book a perfect read. Even those who do not enjoy his broadcasts should read this book. I'm pretty sure you would get a better understanding of where his cheeky, tongue-in -cheek humour comes from. The stories are entertainingly told- especially the one about the multi-party sex sessions. Or lack of them. And how his career could have taken a completely different path thanks to a Military Academy `senior brass' at Sandhurst.

The only thing I disagree with is footnote number one. He has dedicated the book to his son, Arthur, but with the footnote, `Arthur, please don't read this book'. I think this is the perfect book for a son to read. It shows his father in a human light and one day he will be very proud of all the unrelated events he has penned here.
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on 4 January 2014
I had intended to write this review last night but decided instead to watch The Inbetweeners movie on Channel Four. Someone suggested on Twitter that I should write this review using words from the Inbetweeners. In theory this would be clungingly possible. [See what I did there]. Indeed, it would also be appropriate, as there is more than a hint of the naughty teenager in this book as Bacon goes on a journey from one disaster to the next embarrassing moment.

The title of the book means that it does what it says on the tin. It's not an autobiography as such, but it does cover most of the main events in Bacon's life, starting off with a full, and often very funny, account of how he came to get the sack from Blue Peter. It was a long time ago, but just as I am always likely to remembered (if at all) for the incident on Brighton seafront, Bacon will always be associated with Cocaine and Blue Peter. Such is our lot in life. For many that incident (the cocaine one, not Brighton) would have been career ending, but Bacon is made of sterner stuff. He's crammed a lot into his 35 years, most lately being the afternoon presenter on 5 Live. He's been on the Big Breakfast, had shows on Capital and XFM, presented on Top of the Pops and much more besides. And in each incarnation he has some hilarious, and usually very self deprecating stories to tell. In fact, sometimes you wonder if he has been too honest. Writing a whole chapter on how he spent years as a film reviewer for The Sunday People, revealing how he used to get someone else to write the column with neither of them having seen the film, may strike the reader as a rather damaging thing to reveal. But it's characteristic of the rest of the book. No embarrassing incident from Bacon's life is spared. Lightning seems to strike more than twice.

We discover rather more about Richard's sexual predilctions than we might have wanted or expected, although he's surprisingly vanilla - with the exception of the threesome that never happened because of a swimming pool accident (you'll have to read the book). By the end of the book, I did wonder if Mrs Bacon had read it before it went off to the publisher.

The great thing about this book is that it is totally genuine. Totally Richard Bacon. No hint of a ghost writer here, unlike so many celebrity books. It's extremely well written, and there are quite a few `laugh out loud' moments - quite a trick to pull off on the written page. It echoes the spirit of his late lamented 10pm-1am show on 5 Live, a show in which Bacon really came into his own. For me that slot is one of the best on radio and one where you can really build a loyal audience if you play it right, and that's what Bacon did. He had two very hard acts to follow in Anita Anand and Fi Glover, but for me he became one of the best listens in that slot in 5 Live's history, and I was sorry when they moved him to the afternoons when Simon Mayo departed for the gentle shores of Radio 2. Listening to his show, you felt you were a member of a club. I used to appear on it quite regularly as a panellist or pundit and each time went away wishing I could present a show like that. His style and modus operandi taught me a lot about building and retaining and audience, and I like to think I managed to deploy a few of those lessons when I started my show on LBC.

The one disappointment in this book is that he doesn't actually talk that much about his radio career. Perhaps he'll do that in his next book. it's a shame because Richard has become a really polished presenter and interviewer in a way that some of critics never thought he could. He's actually a very strong interviewer and has a knack of getting people to open up. He can also be a tough political interviewer, with a knowledge of politics that often catches out the more unguarded politician. But he has also managed to retain a slight innocence about the political world, which makes him relate to his audience much better than some of the more seasoned political interviewers. He has also retained his slightly childlike tiggerish approach to broadcasting, and although some people don't like it, for me it means you never quite know what to expect from him. Again, that's why he's a good listen. He's like Stephen Nolan in that respect. They both wear their hearts on their sleeves. They empathise in a way some radio presenters either can't or sound false when they do. Like Nolan, he also uses silence and pauses very well. Sometimes, it's best for the presenter to say nothing.

One of the standout chapters in this book deals with the time Bacon's producer Louise Birt (who also worked with me at LBC and has one of the most innovative brains in current affairs broadcasting) suggested he should do a standup gig at the Edinburgh festival. If she had suggested that to me I too would have been at it like a rat at a trap, and that was Richard's reaction also. In both our cases I suspect it would have been ego that won. Bacon admits he was a disaster and takes us through the experience blow by blow. It's a painful read, but also a very funny one. Anyone who can admit they were s*** at something they imagined that would be good at is OK in my book.

But what did Richard Bacon want to achieve by writing this book? I'm still not sure. Yes, it entertained, yes it was almost painfully honest, yes it was well written. But what did he want the end result to be? I still don't really know.

What I do know is that anyone who buys this book can't fail to enjoy it. And if they don't, they don't know a good book when they have read one!

PS. Dreadful cover, though.
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on 4 October 2013
I really like Richard Bacons show on 5live. But didn't think a lot of this. A couple of the yarns were very funny. A couple he had already told on his radio show. And the rest were just ok. Why not say who the Sky Sports presenter was? it's all over the net. Why not say how much gear you were doing? Give us the full story. But I still think he's a great presenter
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on 22 June 2013
A superb read, demolished with gusto in one afternoon. I thought the events being unrelated may make for a disjointed read, but this was banished by the third chapter. One of those books which you read with the author's voice and delivery in your mind - not a problem as RB is an enjoyable listen on 5Live.
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on 26 May 2013
Oh Richard, you seem to lurch from one comic tragedy to the next- from THAT bbc sacking, to your intestinal midemeanours negatively impacting on your 'sure thing' one night stand, to your beating in a toilet, hot tubs and the perils thereof, missed group sex opportunities (well, only the one but pluralising it adds to the drama). There's plate spinning in the US, internet trolls, bikini clad super models, stand up in Edinburgh, betrayal, arrests and charges, radio, tv and The People's film column (unforgivable by the way).
You seem such a lovely man constantly struck by the vicious hand of misfortune and misunderstanding. That's the only side we get to see in this book and I read it in one go- easy reading with some thought provoking gems tucked nicely through the writing. Humourous and guaranteed to raise a giggle or four. Loved it.
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on 1 October 2013
laugh out loud funny - i don't often read this type of book, but i do like richard bacon - he always seems to get wound up into something he really shouldn't have doesn't he - the book proves this point.

I bought it as a holiday read, but nearly finished it on the 9hr flight to florida - including some odd looks from fellow passengers as i had a couple of "laugh out loud" moments - oops.
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on 14 June 2013
Listen to Richard on BBC 5 live and love his show so when I found out about his book I thought it must be worth a purchase and I was right. It's a brilliantly honest and funny book and it's a must buy not just for people who like Richard but for people that just want a read that you just can't put down. Highly recommended.
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on 22 October 2013
Loved this book, found it laugh out loud, loved the stories about his mum. I enjoy Richard Bacon on the radio so I am a fan already.
I have already recommended this book to friends. I wouldn't recommend this as a holiday read (unless short break) as its too easy to read in one go.
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on 18 September 2013
Two main reasons I loved this book - it's endearingly honest, and it's consistently funny. Really funny! Interesting to get the Blue Peter story from the horse's mouth too. Took a punt when buying it, as I wasn't particularly a Richard Bacon fan. I am now!
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on 4 August 2013
A collection of amusing stories told in the slightly smug end of informal tone that Richard Bacon fans and foes will be familiar with.
I would have rated it 5 stars were it not for the brevity - I wanted more!
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