In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic where the global death toll continues to rise on an almost hourly basis, there’s very little to be cheerful about. Stuck in our homes with limited televisual entertainment, watching the tragic smorgasbord of rolling news as we negotiate the neon impossible challenge of ordering our online shopping. The Coronavirus has affected just about every aspect of modernity and has taken away everything that we took for granted. No sport, work, pubs, cafes or libraries, let’s face it life is a bit shit at the moment. Yet hopefully I have some news that might just act as a glimmer of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.
Since the summer of last year, I have been writing another book surrounding my favourite interviews which I have done over the last four years of Beyond The Title. Beyond The Title: The Yearbook tells the story of how I managed to interview some of Britain’s biggest stars, my time spent with them and how they have made an indelible mark into the fabric of the nation. My determination to create a platform such as this arose from watching and listening to many different interview outlets from Parkinson to local radio broadcasters with a flare for showbiz. Interviews are unique in that they are social records of how the subject felt at an exact moment in time and this is something I find absolutely fascinating. I always feel a sense of great satisfaction when I look at my archive of interviews and remind myself of the remarkable people I’ve been lucky enough to meet and felt that they were too good just to sit on my hard drive. Therefore I concluded that a book would be the perfect opportunity to explore these interviews in a way that I had never done before.
One of the significant aspects which I remained mindful of was why people would want to read this. I didn’t want it just to be about the famous people I had met as I felt I had a much bigger story to tell. With my knowledge of entertainment, it was my aim to carry out a social deconstruction of each of my interviews in a bid to understand the showbiz landscape of 2020. It then occurred to me that every time I go to do an interview with a celebrity, I get a small snapshot of the industry. So with so many insights, what did they say as a collective? And how did they record and celebrate the changing face of entertainment? I felt these two concepts were much too big to convey in merely a blog post or interview article and so decided that a book would be the perfect solution.
Profiling and celebrating over forty of my greatest interviews, Beyond The Title: The Yearbook relives the interviews together with a detailed explanation of how I managed to secure each meeting. This includes a surreal battle with the BBC when attempting to interview Jimmy Tarbuck, getting lost with Larry Lamb and bumping into Noel Edmonds at the House of Lords before interviewing Tanni Grey-Thompson. Many of my subjects have had past dealings with me and it’s been interesting to go back and trace my slight connections and past interactions with each celebrity – some actually can be traced back to my early childhood. For example when I interviewed the great Dame Esther Rantzen early last year, it was actually my third collision with the broadcasting legend and it was great to revisit those past occasions to add weight to what I do. I believe this is what makes this book unique.
To celebrate the launch of the book, I’m delighted to announce that Beyond The Title is taking to the stage at London’s Museum of Comedy on Saturday 3rd October with a host of household names debating and discussing the highs and lows of entertainment. An all star panel including Larry Lamb, Arthur Smith, David Quantick and many more will take part in a group discussion about how their careers overlap and the connections between them. This will be followed by a quick book signing in the foyer. The event will take place at The Museum of Comedy The Undercroft
St George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SR from https://museumofcomedy.ticketsolve.com/shows/873614447
So while the world is waiting in abeyance to restart normal life, I have many things to be excited about. So keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates on launches and events. In the meantime stay safe and hope we can all celebrate the release of my new book very soon.