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Customer Review

on 23 February 2011
Until I read this book I knew little of Kenneth Horne's life, other than his work on Round the Horne and its predecessor Beyond Our Ken, together with a vague idea that he had a senior position with the glass firm Triplex.

While this book fills in many of the blanks in Horne's life as a broadcaster - it appears that he was rarely off radio and TV in the 50s and 60s - there is too little about how he balanced his two distinct careers. He claimed to work 60 hours a week for Triplex yet managed to be both a writer and a performer.

My biggest gripe with the book however is that it is in parts in danger of becoming a hagiography, and lacks in objectiveness. Horne had a complex relationship with women - 3 wives and apparently many mistresses, including a 10 year affair with his secretary. It would have been interesting to know why. Throughout however, it appears that the author is dazzled by his subject - whom he irritatingly refers to throughout as "Kenneth". Over long extracts from letters, the author's own personal views on favourite shows, sketches, etc all pad out what is, at heart, a rather thin biography of one who was no doubt a giant of broadcasting during the 50s and 60s.

There is a fascinating biography of this complex man waiting to be written, but sadly, this is not it.
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars