Biographies & Autobiographies


  • MAGS
    Michael Coveney
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    In a career now spanning six decades, Dame Maggie Smith has firmly established herself as one of the world's favourite actresses. This biography sheds some light on the lady behind Professor McGonagall's pointy hat.

    Famously private, this book has been published with Maggie's approval and is written by Michael Coveney, one of the few writers lucky enough to have interviewed her in recent years. Covering her glorious career in detail, from her days starring in the West End to a role alongside Laurence Olivier in Othello and her Academy Award-winning performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, up to the more recent fare including the Harry Potter series and Downton Abbey, the book provides a fascinating glimpse of the real Maggie Smith.

    Drawing on personal archives, interviews and his own encounters with Maggie, alongside conversations with immediate family and close friends, the fully up-to-date book not only celebrates Maggie Smith's incredible work on stage and on screen but also takes a look at the personal experiences that have shaped her as a person.

    A must-have book about a true national treasure.
  • Call the Midlife! - Hardback - 9780297609827 - Chris Evans
    Chris Evans
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    Now he's approaching 50, Chris Evans is very much aware he's a prime candidate to be entering a 'midlife crisis'. In this book, he argues that this is completely the wrong term for this time in a man or woman's life and it's really the Golden Age.

    At 50, many people are still capable of physically doing everything they have always wanted to - and sometimes even better than before! Mentally, those approaching their 50s are also more in the know than before, but how do you make the most of this time? Here, Chris talks about taking a year out to plan to make the most of this period and enjoy a successful future.

    Wise and witty, Chris looks at the best ways to rest, the most worthwhile relaxation methods and the sleep and nutrition needed to ensure there's a happy 25 years (at least) ahead.
  • OROM
    Olly Murs
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    One of the UK's biggest stars, Olly Murs reveals what really happens when he goes on tour in his latest book, On the Road.

    Providing an exclusive insight into the hard work that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to putting on a 27-date nationwide tour, Olly shares all the jokes, arguments, heartbreaks and giggles he experiences along the way.

    An access-all-areas insight into Olly's day job, he also reveals what really happened when he got the X Factor job. Complete with 200 exclusive pictures, there are also guest appearances from the likes of Robbie Williams, Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, John Bishop and big-name footballers.
  • JCLS
    John Cleese
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    Known to many as Basil Fawlty and much loved for his key role in the Monty Python ensemble, John Cleese is one of Britain's favourite actors - and now he tells his life story in the revealing autobiography So, Anyway...

    A star of films including the Shrek series, Fierce Creatures and A Fish Called Wanda, this book finds John looking back on his life and revealing how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend - recalling his first ever public appearance at the age of 8, his tumultuous home life which involved moving every six months and his first ever encounter with writing partner Graham Chapman.

    As well as looking back on the success of his career-defining performances in Fawlty Towers and in Monty Python, John also gives his thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the joys of cricket and why everyone should know the dates of all the kings and queens of England.

    A hilariously funny and poignant life story from the national treasure that is the one and only John Cleese - a true giant of UK comedy.
  • UAMS
    Rick Stein
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    Rick Stein may now be one of the country's favourite chefs but he had an especially tough upbringing, with his bi-polar father committing suicide when Rick was just 18. Heading to Australia, Rick found himself working in an abattoir and on the railways as he struggled to realise his true calling. Following his graduation from Oxford, Rick set up a mobile disco and then a nightclub which were shut down by the police after one fight too many. A clerical error meant the venue still had a license to sell food and this is when Rick seized the opportunity and began to mark himself out as restaurateur and entrepreneur of true ability. Under a Mackerel Sky is the inspirational story of how he became such a cooking success after these most unglamorous of beginnings.
  • WIKS
    Oprah Winfrey
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    Oprah Winfrey - one of America's most powerful celebrities and a globally respected media star, as well as an Oscar-winning actress - offers plenty of words of wisdom on everyday topics that effect us all in What I Know For Sure.

    Taking articles from the famous column in O, the Oprah Magazine, the book finds Oprah tackling subjects ranging from making the most of life to finding love and dealing with difficult situations. Full of insight and revelation, the book opens with Oprah recalling her time on stage with Tina Turner in a chapter titled Joy - and you're sure to be smiling as you read her wise words of advice.

    Other themes throughout the book include Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Awe, Clarity and Power - and all are tackled with Oprah's powerful honesty. The articles are candid, moving and sure to motivate. Pure inspiration from one of the world's favourite figures.
  • Absolute Pandemonium - Hardback - 9780283072314 - Brian Blessed
    Brian Blessed
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    Actor. Film star. Martial artist. Mountaineer. Trained undertaker. Unlikely diplomat. There's no one quite like Brian Blessed and in his new autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium, the national treasure takes readers on a riotous journey from his childhood to finding fame.

    Told in his own words (you can even hear his bellowing voice as you read!), Brain leaves no detail to the imagination as he regales readers with tales such as falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering some unfortunate wire problems when he's hoisted to the heavens on the set of Flash Gordon and charming George Lucas to land the part of Boss Nass in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

    There are far less 'Hollywood' stories along the way, too, where Brian takes secret revenge on his headmistress (and her very big bottom), woos his wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on the hit drama series My Family and Other Animals...

    A perfect book for his many, many fans and those with an interest in film and theatre, Brian Bessed's autobiography is hilarious, light-hearted and very, very loud.
  • WHOM
    Clare Balding
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    As a child, popular broadcaster Clare Balding never stopped. She'd gallop through the countryside and gallop through life... When she embarked on her soon-to-be successful career, one of her first jobs was to present a series of walks with interesting people.

    After walking over 1,500 miles in her lifetime, she's became quite the expert rambler - and now in Walking Home she shares some of her favourite moments from her favourite walks.

    A deeply personal story of paths and people, the book has Clare telling us all about the glories of natural Britain and Ireland - and the (mis)adventures she's enjoyed/endured with her family while walking them!
  • TSIB
    Lynda Bellingham
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    • RRP £16.99
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    The late actress Lynda Bellingham provides a poignant, moving and uplifting memoir about her battle with cancer in There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You.

    Diagnosed in 2013, this book shows how Lynda and her family came to terms with a future they hadn't planned. Brutally honest, the book was written in what was to be Lynda's last few months and is full of the warmth and humour she was so loved for; it shows how she brought light to the darkest of times.

    As well as covering her illness, Lynda also looks back on her extraordinary life in the book. From appearances on Loose Women and Strictly Come Dancing to her role as Helen Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small, as well as her iconic role as the long-suffering OXO Mum, the book also takes a look at her tumultuous private life and search for her birth father - which revealed a family with a history in entertainment...

    Heartbreaking but also heart-warming, this highly emotional book is full of tales of love, loss and laughter and is a fitting, inspiring testament to the courage of a remarkable woman.
    Stephen Hawking
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    Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inwards for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution. My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him 'Einstein'; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of academia. Writing with characteristic humility and humour, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of motor neurone disease aged twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onwards through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece. A Brief History of Time - one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. Clear-eyed, intimate and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking's personal cosmos.
  • OWIL
    Paul Merton
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    The long-awaited autobiography from one of our nation's best-loved comedians, Paul Merton reveals all in his warm, witty new book, Only When I Laugh: My Autobiography. Best-known for his appearances on BBC's Have I Got News For You and as the former host of Room 101, the book tells the fascinating story of Paul's life.

    From his working-class upbringing in Fulham to spending over 25 years upon the television screens of millions of viewers, the book bares all: from schools days; run-ins with nuns; his meatpacking job; taking acid; and his attempts to break into the world of comedy. But life wasn't all laughs... Paul, too, sustained a terrifying manic episode which here is observed with sensitivity and honesty - an ultimately uplifting chapter of his life.

    Brilliantly written and immensely witty and enjoyable throughout, Paul Merton's autobiography, Only When I Laugh, is equally as thoughtful as it is entertaining. A must-have book for any fans of comedy!
  • GMYD
    Guy Martin
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    Guy Martin's beloved grandfather always used to tell him: 'When you dead, you dead'. Taking this advice as a rule to live by, Guy reveals why he loves riding at such dangerous speeds and living his life at full throttle.

    Within the past year, Guy has raced the Isle of Man TT and finished on the podium, bike trekked through India, and competed in solo 24-hour bicycle races. He's also commissioned the building of the world's largest Wall of Death - and built a bike to ride on it. All of this in addition to working his day job as a truck mechanic.

    With plenty of personal photographs also included, this is an honest memoir from a much-loved daredevil that celebrates making the most of the time he's got.
  • OUNT
    Steve Backshall
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    A popular adventurer and wildlife presenter with all ages, Steve Backshall has been climbing since his teens and has a genuine love for the mountains.

    This book is peppered with anecdotes of his climbs and is a celebration of the power of natural landscapes and how they can make us feel very small but also very alive. Despite breaking his back while climbing in 2008, Steve was not put off and managed to seek a variety of new challenges.

    He looks back at some of his greatest achievements while climbing including the first ascent of Mount Kuli in the Bornean rainforest, his trek up K2 in Karakorum and describes the terror of a travelling companion's fall into a crevasse while trailing a snow leopard.

    Exciting, inspiring and sure to make you feel on top of the world, this is a stunning autobiography about Steve's incredible achievements.
  • CMOR
    Caitlin Moran
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    Possibly the only drawback about the bestselling "How To Be A Woman" was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. "Moranthology" is proof that Caitlin can actually be 'quite chatty' about many other things, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually the province of learned professors, or hot-shot wonks - and not a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar, and got it stoned. These other subjects include: Caffeine; Ghostbusters; Being Poor; Twitter; Caravans; Obama; Wales; Marijuana Addiction; Paul McCartney; The Welfare State; Sherlock; David Cameron Looking Like Ham; Amy Winehouse; Elizabeth Taylor's Eyes; Michael Jackson's Funeral; 'The Big Society'; Big Hair; Nutter-letters; Failed Nicknames; Wolverhampton'; Squirrels' Testicles; Sexy Tax; Binge-drinking; Chivalry; Rihanna's Cardigan; Boris Johnson - Albino Shag-hound; Party Bags; Hot People; Transsexuals; The Gay Moon Landings; and My Own, Untimely Death.
  • TJTL
    Sean Smith
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    From bestselling biographer Sean Smith comes the fascinating and tumultuous true story behind Wales' best-known export, sage of BBC's The Voice and living music legend Sir Tom Jones.

    Now into his mid-70s, Tom Jones' life has been an unforgettable roller-coaster ride. Who would have thought that a boy from a small Welsh mining town, who married his sweetheart at 16, in just seven years would become a major musical hit, living a lavish lifestyle in sunny California? Through intimate interviews, Smith uncovers all this and more, including the years Tom Jones spent as little more than a Vegas lounge singer, his A-list friendships, his family life and much, much more...

    As revealing as it is entertaining, this Tom Jones biography is the definitive story of a great talent who is showing no signs of slowing down. A must-read book for all fans of the Sex Bomb and Delilah singer!
  • REED
    Mick Wall
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    When Lou Reed died in October 2013, the legendary rock musician received acclaim and plaudits from all corners of the music industry. After following his role in The Velvet Underground with a solo career that brought the world the likes of Perfect Day, Walk on the Wild Side and Satellite of Love, not to mention the iconic albums Transformer and Berlin, his influence shines through to this day. Living a colourful and varied life, Reed poured his emotions and experiences into his lyrics and this book, written by lifelong fan Mick Wall, examines the often misunderstood genius of the man behind the music. From the ECT treatment that scarred him at 17 to his three marriages, his experimental private life and his cultural influences, this is a book that shows how Lou Reed's darkly honest approach changed the ideals of rock music forever.
  • RHOR
    Richard Hammond
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    Richard Hammond, Top Gear host and all-round petrolhead, reveals all about eight of the most significant road journeys he has ever undertaken in On the Road. Telling the story of his early life through driving episodes, the Hamster remembers seaside trips in the back seat of his dad's car, the first time he rode his red bicycle and his first journey on a motor cycle. He also recalls his job as a furniture delivery man, driving in and around Ripon. Emotionally written but with a strong dose of his balanced and self-deprecating humour, Richard evokes strong memories as he remembers back to - and shares with us - how much these journeys have impacted on his life.
    Amy Poehler
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    THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
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    Total Recall is the unbelievably true story of Arnold Schwarzenegger's life. Born in the small city of Thal, Austria, in 1947, he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21. Within ten years, he was a millionaire business man. After twenty years, he was the world's biggest movie star. In 2003, he was Governor of California and a household name around the world.
    Lena Dunham
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    For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham - the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO's 'Girls' - as one of the brightest and most original writers working today. "If I could take what I've learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I'm already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle."
    Chris Evans
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    The story of how one council estate lad made good, really very good, and survived - just about - to tell the tale! Chris Evans's extraordinary career has seen him become one of the country's most successful broadcasters and producers. From The Big Breakfast to Don't Forget Your Toothbrush and TFI Friday, Chris changed the TV landscape during the '90s; and on Manchester's Piccadilly Radio, BBC Radio 1's Breakfast show and as owner of Virgin Radio he ushered in the age of the celebrity DJ. But this is only part of the Chris Evans story. In this witty and energetically written autobiography, Chris describes the experiences that shaped the boy and created the man who would go on to carve out such a dazzlingly brilliant career. Born on a dreary council estate in Warrington and determined to escape, Chris started out as the best newspaper boy on the block, armed with no more than a little silver Binatone radio that he would take to the newsagents each day and through which he would develop a life-long and passionate love affair with the music and voices that emerged.

    Amanda Erlinger
    • £800.00
    • RRP £1000.00
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    "May you live to be 100, and may the last voice you hear be mine." Frank Sinatra"His camera was a constant companion from his early teens. My daughter, his granddaughter unearthed these gems and they are seen here for the first time." Nancy Sinatra2015 marks 100 years since the birth of Frank Sinatra. The year will be full of events to commemorate the life and music of one of the Twentieth Century's biggest stars. There will be exhibitions, concerts and special album releases. A very special event will be the publication of this luxurious book compiled by Frank Sinatra's granddaughter, Amanda Erlinger. Amanda has sought out rare and unseen images from the family archives for inclusion in the book and has brought together an incredible group of star names to contribute words and imagery. Undoubtedly this book will form a wonderful, personal memory of Frank Sinatra.This spectacular 400-page book comes in luxury clam-shell case, signed by Nancy Sinatra, and Frank Sinatra Jnr., and Tina Sinatra. It includes a rare and unpublished signed print of a photograph of Frank Sinatra taken by Nancy Sinatra Snr., and signed by her.Each book includes a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. With contributions from an incredible all-star cast including - Nancy Sinatra, Martin Scorcese, George Clooney, Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka, Quincy Jones and Elvis Costello and featuring the work of photographers - Herbert Gehr, Milton H. Greene, Bob Willoughby, Dezo Hoffmann, Ken Veeder, Ted Allan, John Dominis, Ed Thrasher, John Bryson, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett and Terry O'Neill. Includes the unpublished family photos of the Sinatra family and most excitingly many photos taken by Frank Sinatra himself, including several self-portraits.This edition is limited to 1000 copies. Published in association with Iconic Images and Frank Sinatra Enterprises."It is fitting that the voice that defined a century should have a centenary. Francis Albert Sinatra, my father, was born December 15, 1915, in Hoboken New Jersey. He came from humble beginnings and set off from there to live a life that few can imagine. He is the embodiment of the American Dream." Nancy Sinatra"Just the mention of his name. You can say it like an incantation, and a whole world is right there before you. Sinatra..." Martin Scorcese"He was the epitome of what singing is all about.Beautiful sounds, smooth as silk, effortless, impeccable phrasing, stylish, intelligent, and full of heart. " Barbra Streisand
    Christopher Warwick
    • £79.99
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    In honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - 60 years on the throne - TASCHEN celebrates the extraordinary private and public life of Her Majesty. Born in 1926, married in 1947, crowned as Queen in 1953, for over six decades she has steadfastly and loyally carried out her duty on behalf of her country, never speaking out of turn or putting a foot wrong. The book tells her remarkable royal story through hundreds of stunning photographs, many previously unseen and sourced from multiple archives in the United Kingdom (including the Royal Collection), Continental Europe, and the United States. These images have it all: history, politics, glamour, fashion, culture, travel, and, of course, hats. As the Queen, she has endlessly traveled the globe, been introduced to every leading icon of the 20th century, including the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK, attended thousands of receptions and state functions; while concurrently being a mother to four children under the constant glare of public scrutiny. These photographs cover every aspect of her reign: the early years, coming of age during World War II, becoming a wife, Queen and mother, the Royal Tours, the palaces, the crowds, the weddings, the Royal Family, the Silver Jubilee in 1977, and the later years. God save her indeed!
    Douglas Keesey
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    Over the last five decades, the films of director Brian De Palma (b. 1940) have been among the biggest successes ("The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible") and the most high-profile failures ("The Bonfire of the Vanities") in Hollywood history. De Palma helped launch the careers of such prominent actors as Robert De Niro, John Travolta, and Sissy Spacek (who was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress in Carrie). Indeed Quentin Tarantino named "Blow Out" as one of his top three favorite films, praising De Palma as the best living American director. Picketed by feminists protesting its depictions of violence against women, "Dressed to Kill" helped to create the erotic thriller genre. Scarface, with its over-the-top performance by Al Pacino, remains a cult favorite. In the twenty-first century, De Palma has continued to experiment, incorporating elements from videogames ("Femme Fatale"), tabloid journalism ("The Black Dahlia"), YouTube, and Skype ("Redacted and Passion") into his latest works. What makes De Palma such a maverick even when he is making Hollywood genre films? Why do his movies often feature megalomaniacs and failed heroes? Is he merely a misogynist and an imitator of Alfred Hitchcock? To answer these questions, author Douglas Keesey takes a biographical approach to De Palma's cinema, showing how De Palma reworks events from his own life into his films. Written in an accessible style, and including a chapter on every one of his films to date, this book is for anyone who wants to know more about De Palma's controversial films or who wants to better understand the man who made them.