Vibrant and candid memoirs of the late, great British character actor, Pete Postlethwaite.
After training as a teacher, Pete Postlethwaite started his acting career at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre where his colleagues included Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Antony Sher and Julie Walters. After routine early appearances in small parts for television programmes such as THE PROFESSIONALS, Postlethwaite’s first success came with the acclaimed British film DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES in 1988. He then received an Academy Award nomination for his role in THE NAME OF THE FATHER in 1993. His performance as the mysterious lawyer “Kobayashi” in THE USUAL SUSPECTS is well-known, and he appeared in many successful films including ALIEN 3, BRASSED OFF, THE SHIPPING NEWS, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, as Friar Lawrence in Baz Luhrmann’s ROMEO + JULIET, and in INCEPTION with Leonardo diCaprio.
Pete Postlethwaite was one of the best-loved and widely admired performers on stage, TV (SHARPE, THE SINS) and in cinema. In THE ART OF DISCWORLD, Terry Pratchett said that he had always imagined Sam Vimes as ‘a younger, slightly bulkier version of Pete Postlethwaite’, while Steven Spielberg called him ‘the best actor in the world’, about which Postlethwaite said: ‘I’m sure what Spielberg actually said was, “the thing about Pete is that he thinks he’s the best actor in the world.”‘ This is the story of a diverse and multi-talented actor’s eventful life, told in his own candid and vibrant words.
Illustrated memoir by the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley is one of Britain’s undisputed national treasures, an English actress, voiceover artist and author, best known for her roles in the British television series ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS portraying Edina Monsoon’s best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as parts in THE NEW AVENGERS and SAPPHIRE & STEEL. A former model and Bond girl, her distinctive voice has been supplied for animated characters, film narration and AOL’s “You’ve got mail” notification in the UK. She has spoken out as a human rights activist for Survival International and the recent Gurkha Justice Campaign, and is now considered a ‘national treasure’ of Nepal as well as the UK because of her support. She is an advocate for a huge number of charities.
She has won two BAFTA awards, but it is the sheer diversity of her life that has made her so compelling a personality – early years in Kashmir and Malaya, growing up in Kent, then a photographic model before becoming an actress, appearing in a huge range of roles, whether it is the Nimble bread TV ad, movies like ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, dramas like SENSITIVE SKIN and documentaries on the Northern Lights, Bhutan and the Nile, and of course as the unforgettable Patsy in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or as Purdy in THE NEW AVENGERS, where her plummy vowels and upper-class demeanour has made her one of our most recognisable actors.
‘The definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ HEAT
In this remarkable book, the Stones themselves reveal the story behind the legend, getting right to the heart of what makes the group tick. It’s the band’s-eye view of their history, punctuated by pithy comments on album and single releases, on memorable performances and on the ups and downs of their private world, and also includes stunning illustrations, many from their own personal archives. The book begins with their roots and what brought them together. It then charts their rise from playing in tiny clubs to their success as ‘the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world’. They describe how their music has evolved and how it has changed their lives.
‘It wasn’t so much a question of being a wizard on the guitar. You also had to be quite a magician to live with the Stones’ Ronnie Wood
Best known for his unforgettable roles in Monty Python, from the Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life, Eric Idle reflects on the meaning of his own life in this brilliantly entertaining memoir that takes us on an unforgettable journey from his childhood in an austere boarding school through his successful career in comedy, television, theatre and film.
Coming of age as a writer and comedian during the Sixties and Seventies, Eric stumbled into the crossroads of the cultural revolution and found himself rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Harrison, David Bowie and Robin Williams, all of whom became lifelong friends. With anecdotes sprinkled throughout that involve other close friends and luminaries such as Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Paul Simon and Mike Nichols – let alone the Pythons themselves – Eric captures a time of tremendous creative output with equal hilarity and heart. In Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, named after the song he wrote for Life of Brian that has since become the number-one song played at funerals in the UK, he shares the highlights of his life and career with the off-beat humour that has delighted audiences for decades.
A legend in his own lunchtime, Eric is the author of many books, some not half bad, some not even a quarter bad. Now he enters his anecdotage as the last word in Python memoirs, and the last of this extraordinary group to tell his story. 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Pythons, and Eric is celebrating the occasion with this laugh-out-loud memoir, chock-full of behind-the-scenes stories from a high-flying life that features everyone from Princess Leia to the Queen.
The SUNDAY TIMES bestselling memoir of Britain’s best-loved actress, Dame Judi Dench.
‘She’s been one of our favourite actresses for five decades, and now …AND FURTHERMORE gives an insight into her sensational career and how she coped after losing her husband to cancer in 2001’ GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
‘Vivid and engaging’ WOMAN & HOME
‘The most popular as well as the greatest actress of her age’ THE LADY
From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays it was clear that acting would be her career. Trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama it was her performance in her twenties as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s memorable Old Vic production that turned her into a star. In the theatre since she has played every classic role from Titania to Cleopatra.
She first became a household name via television, thanks initially to a sitcom, A FINE ROMANCE, in which she played alongside the actor Michael Williams, whom she married in 1971. She has since made nine series of another sitcom, AS TIME GOES BY (with Geoffrey Palmer), as well as plays and classic serials such as CRANFORD. In the cinema her films have ranged from LADIES IN LAVENDER (opposite Maggie Smith) through NOTES ON A SCANDAL with Cate Blanchett to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, in which she played Queen Elizabeth, a role which gained her a Hollywood Oscar. But it is her role as ‘M’ in seven James Bond films that has gained her worldwide recognition.
This book is, however, much more than a career record. Her marriage to Michael Williams, their daughter, and her impish sense of humour contribute vividly to her account of more than half a century as Britain’s best-loved actress.
‘Properly analytical … always entertaining’ TIME OUT
‘Should tempt both those generally familiar with Andy Warhol and, even more, young people who have trouble imagining how popular art can challenge the status quo’ L A TIMES
Painter, filmmaker, photographer, philosopher, all-round celebrity, Andy Warhol is an outstanding cultural icon. He revolutionised art by bringing to it images from popular culture – such as the Campbell’s soup can and Marilyn Monroe’s face – while his studio, the Factory, where his free-spirited cast of ‘superstars’ mingled with the rich and famous, became the place of origin for every groundswell shaping American culture.
In many ways he can be seen as the precursor to today’s ‘celebrity artists’ such as Tracey Emin and Damian Hurst. But what of the man behind the white wig and dark glasses? Koestenbaum gives a fascinating, revealing and thought-provoking picture of pop art’s greatest icon.
The second volume of the definitive biography of one of the greatest modern playwrights, Arthur Miller (1915-2005).
The first volume of Christopher Bigsby’s award-winning biography of Arthur Miller was hailed as a masterpiece and the definitive account of Miller’s early years. This is the second half of Miller’s captivating story, covering his life from 1962 to his death in 2005.
In 1962, Miller’s legacy was incomplete. Ahead lay eighteen plays, five films, a novella and a handful of stories. On a personal level, 1962 saw the death of his second wife, the iconographic Marilyn Monroe, and his marriage to the photographer Inge Morath who was to transform him as a writer and a person. A visit to Mauthaussen concentration camp and to the Frankfurt trials of Auschwitz-Birkenau guards moved the Holocaust to the centre of his attention and he became a more directly political person.
Christopher Bigsby brilliantly and elegantly maps out the journey of Miller’s life and work. Shedding new light on Miller’s complexities, and revealing unknown facts about his public and private life, Bigsby shares new insights and perspectives crucial to an understanding of one of the world’s greatest playwrights.
Biography of one of the greatest of modern playwrights, Arthur Miller (1915-2005).
This is the long-awaited biography of one of the twentieth century’s greatest playwrights whose postwar decade of work earned him international critical and popular acclaim.
Arthur Miller was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over sixty years, writing a wide variety of plays – including The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman – which are still performed, studied and lauded throughout the world.
Born in 1915 to moderately affluent Jewish-American parents, Miller wrote during a fascinating time in American history. The Great Depression was a period of deprivation for many that left an indelible mark on the national psyche, and, like many, Miller found hope for the beleaguered common man in Communism. The Second World War elevated the common man to war hero, but when the Cold War subsequently began, the ugly elements of American conservatism freely persecuted writers and artists who had embraced Communism. Miller was among them. His refusal to give evidence against others to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956 gave him a heroic role to play. In that same year, Arthur Miller momentously married the young actress Marilyn Monroe, a marriage that remains famous to this day.
Christopher Bigsby’s gripping, meticulously researched biography, based on boxes of papers made available to him before Miller’s death, offers new insights into their marriage, and sheds new light on how their relationship informed Miller’s subsequent great plays.
After his death in 2005, many respected actors, directors and producers paid tribute to Miller, calling him ‘the last great practitioner of the American stage’. Christopher Bigsby’s supremely authoritative biography does full justice to Miller’s life and art.
The life and times of the No.1 bestselling author of ON THE EDGE.
The wry, honest and often hilarious chronicles of a very brave and clever TV presenter, Arctic Explorer and general drawer of the Short Straw. As one third of the BBC’s Top Gear team, Richard Hammond’s year since his near-fatal accident has been full of stunts and drama. From a race to the North Pole (with skis and dog-sled) to a journey through Botswana in a car named Oliver, and a seventeen-mile run through floods to his Gloucestershire home, in order to get to his daughter’s birthday party, the year has been eventful, to say the least . . .With his boundless optimism in the face of certain failure, Richard Hammond has become one of our funniest writers about a life (and a job) which constantly present a challenge.
What was it like to be Elvis Presley? What did it feel like when impossible fame made him its prisoner? As the world’s first rock star there was no one to tell him what to expect, no one with whom he could share the burden of being himself – of being Elvis.
On the outside he was all charm, sex appeal, outrageously confident on stage and stunningly gifted in the recording studio. To his fans he seemed to have it all. He was Elvis. With his voice and style influencing succeeding generations of musicians, he should have been free to sing any song he liked, to star in any film he was offered, and to tour in any country he chose.
But he wasn’t free. The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American South, which, as he blended gospel music with black rhythm and blues and white country songs, helped him create rock and roll, had left him with a lifelong vulnerability. Made rich and famous beyond his wildest imaginings when he mortgaged his talent to the machinations of his manager, ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, there would be an inevitable price to pay. Though he daydreamed of becoming a serious film actor, instead he grew to despise his own movies and many of the songs he had to sing in them. He could have rebelled. But he didn’t. Why? In the Seventies, as the hits rolled in again, and millions of fans saw him in a second career as he sang his way across America, he talked of wanting to tour the world. But he never did. What was stopping him?
BEING ELVIS takes a clear-eyed look at the most-loved entertainer ever, and finds an unusual boy with a dazzling talent who grew up to change popular culture; a man who sold a billion records and had more hits than any other singer, but who became trapped by his own frailties in the loneliness of fame.
John Lennon was a rock star, a school clown, a writer, a wit, an iconoclast, a sometime peace activist and finally an eccentric millionaire. He was also a Beatle – his plain-speaking and impudent rejection of authority catching, and eloquently articulating, the group’s moment in history.
Chronicling a famously troubled life, Being John Lennon analyses the contradictions in the singer-songwriter’s creative and destructive personality.
Drawing on many interviews and conversations with Lennon, his first wife Cynthia and second Yoko Ono, as well as his girlfriend May Pang and song-writing partner Paul McCartney, Ray Connolly unsparingly reassesses the chameleon nature of the perpetually dissatisfied star who just couldn’t stop reinventing himself.
The story of the splendidly unpredictable Russian dancer who ruffled the feathers of the Bloomsbury set and became the wife of John Maynard Keynes
Born in 1891 in St Petersburg, Lydia Lopokova lived a long and remarkable life. Her vivacious personality and the sheer force of her charm propelled her to the top of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. Through a combination of luck, determination and talent, Lydia became a star in Paris, a vaudeville favourite in America, the toast of Britain and then married the world-renowned economist, and formerly homosexual, John Maynard Keynes.
Lydia’s story links ballet and the Bloomsbury group, war, revolution and the economic policies of the super-powers. She was an immensely captivating, eccentric and irreverent personality: a bolter, a true bohemian and, eventually, an utterly devoted wife.