Sunday, 8 March 2015

Polly Toynbee article about Freddie

Not, perhaps, the most obvious chronicler of his doings, but after meeting Freddie on a cruise in 1978 Polly Toynbee came to Hastings to write a piece for The Guardian about rehearsals for his summer show at the White Rock. Many thanks to Ms Toynbee for allowing me to reproduce this article, which originally appeared in The Guardian on July 3rd of that year. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

"Marvellous portrait of a working comedian": review by Alwyn Turner

Many thanks to Alwyn Turner for this amazon review of Funny Bones, posted today:
A Classic

With the exception of the really big stars (Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook), British comedians of the pre-alternative era haven't been very well served by the publishing industry. The best that most can hope for is to have their memoirs written up by a showbiz hack from a local paper.

So congratulations to Freddie 'Parrot-Face' Davies for having enlisted the services of Anthony Teague to create this magnificent book. Beautifully written and endlessly enthusiastic about its subject, it's a marvellous portrait of a working comedian, complete with all the proper ingredients: the years of struggle, the overnight sensation, the slow decline, the career revivals.

Even if you've never thought of yourself as much of a fan, you're still going to love one of the few great biographies of British comedy. 

Read Alwyn's overview of older comedians' biographies - including Sid Field, once feed to Freddie's grandad - here

The amazon page for Funny Bones, with many other reviews, is here. Read an extract from the book here.

Parrotless shortlist shock

Sadly, Funny Bones did not make the Sheridan Morley Prize shortlist. You can read details about the books which did here. I have read John Lahr's biography of Tennessee Williams - a great achievement, even if it has next to no discussion about the Northern clubs of the 1950s.

I relayed the sad news to Freddie, who says he has only had great feedback from our readers: "I had one on Monday who said it was the best biog he had ever read and promised to pass it on to the other inmates in the home with glasses."

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