Tuesday 11 December 2018

Carry On Reading: Great Carry On Books for Christmas!

It's Christmas shopping time once again so I thought I would bring you some of my favourite Carry On comedy related stocking fillers. I'll have more on this tomorrow with some of my favourite Carry On art but today I thought I'd start off with some brilliant books I've featured on the blog over the past year or so. I recommend them all to you for the classic comedy fan in your life:

Fenella Fielding: Do You Mind if I Smoke?

Sadly we lost the wonderful Fenella Fielding earlier this year, but thankfully we have her brilliant memoirs to help remember her by. In these pages you will fall in love with the real Fenella, whose genuine innocence in her early days in often seedy and dangerous post-war London was her best protection. You’ll learn how she crafted the career she longed for in the face of determined and sometimes cruel opposition from her parents. How she went up the ladders of fame and down the snakes of self-doubt and despair. How she learned to live with, like and sometimes loathe the famous actors, impresarios, conmen and characters of the day.

So famous in the 1960s that she was chosen by Littlewoods to hand over a cheque for a third of a million pounds to a Pools winner, by the 1970s she had one of her own cheques returned and realised she was broke.

The story nearly ended there, but talent and sheer guts pulled her though the dark times and out into the light of new-found success. In 2017 she turned 90. The star known as the 'England’s First Lady of the Double Entendre' was still seducing audiences with that unforgettable voice, her perfect timing and wicked humour never better.

The memoirs very carefully kept the authenticity of Fenella's voice throughout and even though this is the print version, Fenella's voice comes over as beautifully resonate and utterly unique as it ever did.

You can find out more and order a copy here

Bernard Cribbins: Bernard Who? 75 Years of Doing Just About Everything!

The legend that is Bernard Cribbins has written his life story and it's out now. Bernard, who will rather astonishingly turn 90 this December, has told the story of his life and 75 year acting career, working with writer James Hogg. As soon as I heard about this new book yesterday, I downloaded it to my Kindle and I'm already three chapters in. Bernard's is a fascinating tale and definitely worth a read.

Bernard Cribbins is currently celebrating his seventy-fifth year in showbusiness, having first joined Oldham Repertory Company as a full-time actor way back in 1943. Working a seventy-hour week, he was paid just fifteen bob for his services then, all of which went straight to his mother.

After serving as a paratrooper during National Service – and getting shot at several times in Palestine – Bernard returned to the theatre where he was eventually spotted by George Martin, then A&R man for Parlophone Records. Just months away from producing The Beatles, Martin thought that Bernard might have a future in the recording industry and after hooking him up with a couple of writers he became a pop star. His two hit singles ‘The Hole in the Ground’ – which reached no. 1 – and ‘Right Said Fred’ – reaching no. 10 – catapulted Bernard to stardom and after appearing in three Peter Sellers classics, Two Way StretchThe Wrong Arm of the Law and Crooks in Cloisters, he took starring roles in two Carry On films, Carry on Jack and Carry on Spying.

By the time he appeared in The Railway Children in 1970 Bernard was already bordering on being a national treasure. This was all but confirmed just a few years later when, as well as becoming Jackanory’s longest serving storyteller, he also delighted millions by bringing The Wombles to life. Since then, Bernard’s CV has become an A-Z of the best entertainment that Britain has to offer, and he has undoubtedly become one of our best-loved actors.

Jam packed with anecdotes, Bernard Who? is a book that is almost ninety years in the making and divulges the full story behind one of the longest and most celebrated careers in show business. 

Bernard Who? 75 Years of Doing Just About Everything, the memoir of Bernard Cribbins is out now in hardback and ebook, published by Piatkus, Constable and Robinson – a division of Little, Brown Book Group.

Josephine: An Open Book

Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of the debut novel by Carry On actress, Angela Douglas.

Josephine: An Open Book is a powerful and compelling story of a young woman’s journey to stardom and the trials and tribulations of showbusiness and celebrity. Set against the backdrop of London’s 1960s, her paths cross with the likes of Kirk Douglas, Steve McQueen Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Neil Armstrong.

Though a work of fiction, the novel draws extensively on Angela Douglas’ own experiences, weaving a story which is at its very heart, universal in its themes: love, loss, the breakdown of a marriage and the decline of health. Josephine is ultimately an uplifting memoir of determination and conviction in the face of adversity, and is sure to resonate with the reader. 

Josephine is Angela’s first work of fiction, having already worked as a journalist and author, writing two non-fiction titles, including her autobiography Swings and Roundabouts, which received great praise from audience and critics alike.

As Angela put it herself, Josephine’s life is set in a world she knows well:

“I have described Josephine as ‘made up truth’. Many of the characters with whom Josephine meets are famous names because they are lifted from real-life experiences of my own. Josephine and I share many things, but there are also many differences... She is very much her own woman, and she finds herself in a lot of scrapes and circumstances, which I luckily did not. Josephine is an ambitious, fiercely independent bundle of energy who never settles for less than she deserves. As her father says: “when she was little she tried to ride the rainbow. Her ambition was up high....her reality was at times down there.”

What parts of Josephine’s life are based on truth and what are a work of fiction? That’s what you’ll have to determine for yourself…”
Find out more about Candy Jar, and order your copy of Angela's novel here: www.candyjarbooks.co.uk

Whatever you choose, happy reading! 

 You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and on Instagram

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