Parcel Arrived Safely: Tied with String by Michael Crawford

bookshelves: winter-20142015, autobiography-memoir, published-1999, under-500-ratings, nonfiction

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from January 14 to 23, 2015


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019dh51

Description: By turns hilarious, revelatory and desperately sad, here is the autobiography of the man whose TV and stage appearances such as Hello Dolly!, Some Mothers Do `Ave ‘Em and The Phantom of the Opera have made him a national institution. The story of the true identity of his father, which is behind this book’s title, leads into an evocative depiction of his tender childhood years. Whilst all the men were away at war, Crawford was surrounded by loving women. For him this was an idyllic wartime childhood, but the return of the men in peacetime signalled darker times to come. Crawford’s infectious enjoyment of stage work illumines his account of his early struggles to make a name for himself in the theatre business, and his early failures with girls are lifted by his abiding sense of the absurd. Both in his private life and his work as a successful actor and TV comedian, he begins a lifetime’s habit of pratfalls that he would later turn to good use in the character of Frank Spencer in smash hit 1970s TV comedy show Some Mothers Do`Ave ‘Em. His talent for mimicry makes the great personalities in his life come alive on the page; people he has worked with, including Benjamin Britten who taught him to sing, John Lennon – with whom he shared a villa – and Oliver Reed, Michael Winner, Barbra Steisand, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Some Frank Spencer-like moments

Meeting Gene Kelly

No Sex Please, We’re British

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

Phantom of the Opera

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