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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
It's All News to Me
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on 21 August 2012
This book was purchased for my wife who laughed and cried through a period of recent media history. We both really enjoyed the biography. Light and easy read.
A great talent .
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on 22 March 2014
If you like politics,reporting,the BBC and radio 2 (and Jeremy vine) you will love this book,as I did.thouroughly recommended,I absolutely loved it
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on 5 September 2012
Very funny and lots of insight into how the BBC really is. Enjoyed it a lot. Doesn't read that much like an autobiography which is what I liked most about it.
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on 12 January 2013
An easy read, giving a wonderful insight into politics, the media etc. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2012
This book was simply hilarious. Laugh-out loud funny, in fact. And he says it's all true. So I guess it must be. He is a BBC journalist, after all. It's not to say that it's all light and fluffy - there are moments of necessary reflection and poignancy along the way (especially in the account of his years in Africa), as well as real insight as he reflects on what actually constitutes news.

But the majority of the book is taken up with various `rules' for success in journalism. They are many and varied. I'm considering how to appropriate them to ordinary life. But some may be a bit tricky (like the maximum number of Jeremys you can have on Newsnight, and my favourite 'Good luck and don't drop the gun'). It will all make sense in context. Just to give a flavour here are a couple of my favourites:
"One night I found the top drawer of my desk jammed shut. I rang maintenance. An hour later two workmen in blue overalls arrived with tools and levered the drawer open.
I thanked them, but just as they were leaving I tried to push the drawer closed again and found it would not budge.
`Hey sorry, excuse me-' I called them back in. `The drawer's open, but it won't shut now.'
`Sorry mate,' they said. `You need someone else for that.'
It was not just the drawers that needed shutting. I was doing a piece on Muhammad Ali and wanted some original recordings of the Rumble in the Jungle, the great fight between Ali and Foreman. So I asked the switchboard to put me through to the boxing department.
After some clicking and ringing, a woman at the other end said: `Hello, boxing?'
`Hi. Do you have the soundtrack for the fight between Ali and Foreman? The one where-'
She interrupted me. `No, sorry love, we're nothing to do with sport. This is the department that puts things in boxes.'" (p58)

Then this glorious moment:
"Justin [Webb] flew down to South Africa the same year [1995], to commentate on the Queen's visit to Cape Town. The monitors in his makeshift studio went blank just as the cameras zoomed in on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
`KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE YACHT,' the director shouted in Justin's ear, so he did.
`And there she is, nearly seven hundred royal visits, a million miles on the clock, and still no need of a refit.'
Unfortunately the line went out over a close-up of the Queen." (p335)

Fabulous with plenty more where that came from. A great read.
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on 18 August 2012
... a great book!

My wife purchased this book as a present for me, thinking I would find it interesting; I did indeed. It is extremely well written, with just the right degree of humour. I found myself laughing out loud frequently and, at other times, shedding tears at his compassion. For an outsider it also gives a fascinating insight into the politics of politics as well as the politics of broadcasting. I would recommend it to anyone, along with his brother's book - "The Biggest Ever TIM VINE Joke Book".

The Biggest Ever Tim Vine Joke Book
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on 29 June 2012
At 28, I only know of Jeremy VIne from radio 2 so it was a pleasure and extremely interesting to read of his career before radio 2. I laughed out loud at parts and cried a river at his chapter on the fallen soldiers and the parents he interviewed. I have to say that sometimes I find him slightly dismissive on radio 2 and sometimes listening to him, he doesn't exude warmth which he talks about in this book. However reading his words I felt the warmth and humour and have to say I couldn't put it down.

I would really reccomend it !
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on 15 August 2017
I love reading autobiographies but this was hard work. There's very little personal detail about Jeremy's childhood, schooling, family - less than 10% I'd guess. Given his brother is the comedian Tim Vine I expected a fair amount of the book devoted to his childhood with Tim. And there’s a sister – I’m not even sure she got a mention.

It's mostly about his job, or specifically about the BBC. There are one or two interesting anecdotes but even they were few and far between. The more interesting ones, like Ross-Brand-Gate, were only referred to in title and never written about. It just about held my interest as I was familiar with some of the great names form the past in radio such as Jimmy young but for the generation who’ve never even heard of Jimmy Young I think they’ll find this book extremely dull.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2014
Though autobiographical, there is nothing heavy or dry about this book. It races through his formative years as a journo and presenter, with touching stories of ordinary people, but also plenty of juicy anecdotes about his sometimes strained relations with colleagues (notably Jeremy Paxman and Jimmy Young).

I can understand why other staff found this cocky youngster irritating. Beneath the charming exterior there is steely ambition and more than a hint of arrogance. But what he does, he does well and professionally. He writes as he talks, with an easy fluency which makes his Radio 2 show so enjoyable (but also annoying at times). He is a worthy successor to JY. You suspect he still hankers after a more meaty, Paxman-like role, or possibly a spot of foreign correspondence. But he is clearly in the right job and it would be insane to move him elsewhere. Besides, he really loves music and this comes through both in the book and on the show.

I was amazed at how prosaic life is at the BBC. In many respects it's just another workplace, with people arguing over mugs and coat-hangers.

Very enjoyable. Roll on the next instalment.
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on 5 September 2017
Dreadful book. Awful and dull. Written by an awful and dull man. Comes across as being incredibly smug and condescending. Avoid!
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