Anyone concerned that this book has appeared rather too soon after Dave Allen`s death need not worry. It`s clear that Carolyn Soutar, and Dave Allen`s many friends, were anxious to pay tribute to this truly lovely man and make sure his memory is kept alive. Carolyn Soutar worked as Dave Allen`s stage manager on his 1988 British tour. She makes it sound like the best job in the world, and her first-hand description of this amazingly unglitzy tour is, for me, the best part of the book. Allen toured the country with just "a girl and a car". Soutar was the girl. Completely unshowbizzy, Allen took her for Chinese meals after most of the shows, and always insisted on paying. Her main challenge seemed to be dealing with his dry-cleaning obsession - well, I guess all famous people have to have their "thing". Dave Allen made up so many stories about his life that I wonder if even he knew what was true and what was not. However, a few events that have been presented as facts are over-turned here - apparently, he didn`t have an affair with Eartha Kitt, after all! This is such a warm and endearing portrait that it makes the ending even sadder - especially since the actual cause of death was not published in any paper I saw. So be warned - you will cry. Maybe even sadder than that is the thought that this great man is likely to be forgotten. He didn`t allow his shows to be repeated while he was alive, and, it seems, this is likely to continue after his death. To be fair to the BBC, I guess this is why they have not produced a tribute to him. Reading extracts from his act makes you realise just how fantastic, intelligent and daring he was. Thank you to Carolyn Soutar for bringing that to everyone`s attention.
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