Category > TV and radio

True History of the Blackadder

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True History of the Blackadder: The Unadulterated Tale of the Creation of a Comedy Legend, J. F. Roberts, book reviewIf you asked me what I thought of the television series ‘Black Adder’, I’d tell you it was very funny, a real classic that took me through my teens and beyond, and that I considered myself to be a fan. I was not obsessive about it by a long way – I never really ‘got’ the first series but I loved the rest – but many years after it last showed, I’m still prone to confusing my continental colleagues with comments about ‘cunning plans’ and by pronouncing the name ‘Bob’ in that distinctive way that Rowan Atkinson had. I’m not sure what I expected J F Roberts’ book True History of the Black Adder to be, but when Curiousbookfans were offered a publisher’s copy, I put up my hand and said “Yes, please”.


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Who’s Who in The Archers 2011

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Who's Who in The Archers 2011: An A-Z of Britain's Most Popular Radio Drama by Graham Harvey, book reviewDum de dum de dum de dum – dum de dum de daa daa

There are two ways to respond to the above line. First is with a tuneful burst of “dum de diddly, dum de diddly, dum de diddly dum” and the second is to wonder what the heck I’m on about. If you’re in the former group then there’s a good chance that you are a regular listener to the UK’s longest running radio drama – The Archers. If you’re in the latter, well this is all going to be a bit baffling for you.

I wasn’t brought up with this tale of simple country folk so I was not indoctrinated by my parents or grandparents (the latter of whom were definitely ‘simple country folk’ and my Grandad had more than a passing similarity to Joe Grundy).


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The Kenneth Williams Diaries

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The Kenneth Williams Diaries by Kenneth Williams, book reviewKenneth Williams kept a diary for more than forty years and in 1993, five years after his death, these diaries were published in an edited form. The diaries revealed a more complex figure than the comedian who became much loved through his Carry On roles and famous appearances on the chat show circuit. The private Kenneth Williams was a remarkably well read, religious man haunted by his homosexuality, his sometimes outrageous behaviour, and his thoughts of suicide. He lived an ascetic and often lonely life in a series of modest London flats and never seemed to have much money considering how famous he was. The diaries are 800 pages long (in my paperback copy) and include many interesting photographs from different points in Williams’ life, from his early revue days to the distinguished, grey haired figure of the late eighties shortly before his death.


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