From BBC Dickens adaptations to Benidorm and Ideal to the PG Tips ads, Johnny Vegas has become one of Britain's best-loved comic actors.
But before he'd ever drunk tea with a knitted monkey or made himself the exception that proves the rule in terms of the predictability of TV panel game regulars, Johnny Vegas was perhaps the most fearlessly confessional stand-up comedian this country has ever produced.
How did an eleven-year-old Catholic trainee priest from St Helens grow up to become the North West of England’s answer to Lenny Bruce? That’s just one of the many questions answered by this eye-poppingly frank memoir.
Becoming Johnny Vegas establishes its author as the poet laureate of the Pimblett's pie.
Once you've finished this darkly hilarious tale of family, faith and the creative application of alcohol dependency, you'll never look at a copy of the Catholic men's society newsletter the same way again.
Comedian and TV star Johnny Vegas started life by the name of Michael Pennington and lived in St Helen's, Lancashire. Growing up he entered (and dropped out of) seminary school, trained as a potter and worked as a barman.
In 1996, Pennington made his TV debut as a contestant on Win, Lose or Draw. On air he stated that he wanted to be a comedian with the stage name ‘Johnny Vegas’. A year later, in 1997, he was nominated for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s prestigious Perrier Award – and the rest is history. Johnny has appeared on panel shows, one-off movies, the hugely popular TV sitcoms Benidorm and Ideal – and crowned these achievements with several non-comedic acting roles, to great critical acclaim.
Dawn began her career as part of the groundbreaking alternative comedy group, the Comic Strip, marking a radical departure from the more traditional comedy acts of the time. Later came the all-female Girls On Top, which teamed Dawn with Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and Tracy Ullman and firmly established women in British comedy.
As part of the wildly successful and much loved duo French and Saunders, Dawn helped create a repetoire of brilliantly observed characters, parodying popular culture and impersonating everything from Madonna and Harry Potter to The Exorcist. Dawn's more recent role in the Vicar of Dibley showcased not only her talent but also her ability to take a controversial and topical issue and make it mainstream - and very funny.
From her early years as an RAF child and her flat-sharing antics with Jennifer Saunders, to her outspoken views on sizism and her marriage to Lenny Henry, Dear Fatty will chronicle the extraordinary, hilarious rise of a complex, dynamic and unstoppable woman.
The truth is, I should never have been this famous guy. I wasn't the cool, clever, good-looking boy at school. But I always dreamt of it, hoped for it, longed for it: throughout school when I was disruptive, in my teens when I tried to form my own boy band and through hundreds of auditions for parts which were met with constant rejection. Until finally I co-wrote Gavin and Stacey. And my whole life changed.
This is that story. The story of how I found myself here, talking to you.
I Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan is the memoir of Alan Partridge, the nation’s favourite broadcaster. It is a work of heart-breaking majesty.
Genuinely one of the best books of the last fifteen to twenty years, I, Partridge charts the highs, lows and middle bits in the life of one of Europe’s most revered inquisitors.
With a good job in sales and marketing and a nice house in Manchester that he shared with his wife and kids, John Bishop was no different when he turned the dreaded 4-0. But instead of spanking a load of cash on a car that would have made him look like a senior stylist at Vidal Sassoon, he stumbled onto a pathway that ultimately lead him to become one of the nation’s best loved comedians. It was a gamble, but boy, did it pay off.
How Did All This Happen? is the story of how a boy who, growing up on a council estate dreaming of ousting Kenny Dalglish from Liverpool FC’s starting line-up, suddenly found himself on stage in front of thousands of people nationwide, at an age when he should have known better.
In his own inimitable style, John guides us through his life from leaving the estate and travelling the globe on a shoe string, to marriage, kids and the split that led him to being on a stage complaining to strangers one night – the night that changed his life and started his journey to stardom.
Wonderfully entertaining and packed with colourful reminiscences and comical anecdotes, this is a heart-warming, life-affirming and ultimately very, very funny memoir from one of the nation’s greatest comedians.