Biographies

Celebrity : 1-24 of 25

  • 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.
  • KATD

    Piers Dudgeon

    (2)
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    Containing some striking personal photographs, Piers Dudgeon's Kate's Daughter: The Real Catherine Cookson tells the rags to riches tale of the esteemed British author. The story is told by people who knew her as she grew up and what emerges is a fresh portrait with vividly drawn detail that casts a new light on an author whose real life was almost as sensational and dramatic as the fictional worlds she created. A fresh documentary portrait, the book does not shy away from the fears that cast Catherine into the nightmare of mental breakdown and also discusses how her husband Tom Cookson may have been responsible for leading her out of this and gave her the courage to be herself and write her way into the hearts and minds of book readers across the world.

  • 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.
  • TSIB

    Lynda Bellingham

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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.
  • RGIG

    Steve Bartram

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    A multi Premier League-, Champions League-, League Cup-, FA Cup- and Community Shield-winning player, Ryan Giggs is the most decorated footballer in British football history and this new book details it all - from his debut against Everton as a teenager in 1991, to becoming Manchester United manager and then assistant to Louis van Gaal.

    Fully illustrated throughout, the book chronicles Giggs' astonishing career at the top of European football and provides an unparalleled insight into what set him - part of United's famous Class of '92 - apart from the rest: how he broke through into the Manchester United first team, the impact he had on the team throughout his astonishing 19-year playing career and how the legendary number 11 became the Red Devils' record holder for most appearances.

    With insight provided by the people who know this record-breaking midfielder better than anyone, including coaches, opponents, team-mates, club staff and friends, Ryan Giggs: The Man for All Seasons is a comprehensive and compelling overview of this Manchester United star's illustrious career at the top.
  • AHTLK

    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!
  • INWE

    Griff Rhys Jones

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    One of our most popular personalities, Griff Rhys Jones, discovers his heritage - and a number of unusual facts and figures about the country - in the endlessly entertaining Insufficiently Welsh.

    Venturing through Snowdonia, Anglesey, the Gower, mid Wales, Brecon, Pembrokeshire, north Wales and Monmouthshire, the book finds Griff searching for his Celtic roots in his quest to discover if, despite all his relatives being Welsh, he is, in fact, insufficiently Welsh.

    Full of the weird and wonderful, Griff offers his unique perspective and observations on the language, landscape, legends and much more that have come to define Wales as a country.
  • LKSC

    Lorraine Kelly

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    Sunday Times no.1 bestseller and national treasure Lorraine Kelly celebrates the gloriously diverse landscape and deep cultural heritage of Scotland in her personal journey through this truly unique country.

    Illustrated beautifully, containing stunning photography and told with all the charm and wit for which she has become a household name, join Lorraine in this collection of fascinating memories and stories from her adopted home of Dundee all the way to the wild and remote Scottish highlands.

    Whisky tasting, Viking fire festivals and hunting the infamous Loch Ness monster are just some of the tales that pull at the heartstrings of one of Britain's favourite television personalities. Ideal for fans of Lorraine Kelly's warm and humorous writing, or anyone looking to learn more about the REAL Scotland, the book is sure to entertain!
  • AIAXR

    Danny Baker

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    Broadcaster Danny Baker has already revealed the secrets of his childhood and teenage years in his first memoir Going to Sea in a Sieve. In Going Off Alarming, he talks about how his life changed when he turned 25 and embarked on an unlikely career in TV...

    Revealing how he bounced 'all about British TV with such success that I wind up in radio', Danny's anecdotes and self-depreciating humour will appeal to his many fans as he opens up about the beginning of his media career. Describing the backstage stories from his dozens of TV shows - many of which Danny admits were lousy - he also gives his father Spud's reactions to everything he did.

    From game shows to talk shows and Daz adverts to TFI Friday, the book is full of 1980s and 90s nostalgia and provides a tongue-in-cheek look at an extraordinary career from a popular celebrity!
  • AKYWV

    Michael Palin

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    After Monty Python finished, Michael Palin's career took an unexpected turn as he went into travel - a decision that would shape his working life for the next 25 years. The third volume of Michael's diaries, Travelling to Work reveals how he came to this decision and how he felt as he explored the world.

    Showing how he remained busy on a host of other projects during this time, the diaries begin in September 1988 as Michael travelled down the Adriatic in his modern-day take on Around the World in 80 Days. Following the success of this documentary, he starred in not only A Fish Called Wanda but also American Friends - a film based on his great-grandfather's diaries.

    He also starred in drama GBH, wrote the West End play The Weekend and wrote his first novel Hemingway's Chair during this time, before going back to travel with the popular series Pole to Pole and Full Circle.

    These diaries show Michael Palin as a workaholic man who grasps every opportunity that comes his way - and how his family will always be there for him, despite any doubts he has. Covering 10 roller-coaster years of his life, the diaries give a deeply personal insight into Michael's sense of adventure, enthusiasm and curiosity.
  • 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.
  • NPAT
    (2)
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    Written by Nanny Pat, the star of ITV2's The Only Way is Essex, Penny Sweets and Cobbled Streets: My East End Childhood vividly captures a lost way of life as she looks back over her colourful youth. Nanny Pat has always been at the heart of her family and her children and grandchildren still regularly pitch up at her house for a cup of tea, her famous sausage plait and some wise advice. Now, with her trademark warmth and humour, she evokes the East End of her childhood. With great character and wonderful anecdotes, this delightful memoir vividly captures a lost way of life and will appeal to any fans of TOWIE and the book even includes a recipe for Jellied Eels!

  • NTMY

    Jessie J

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    An international pop sensation with a big voice and even bigger personality, Jessie J gives fans an insight into her life in her autobiography Nice to Meet You: My Story. In this bold and intimate hardback, The Do It Like A Dude and Price Tag singer offers up exclusive backstage photographs, personal snaps and an up-close insight into her music, style and passion for being true to who you are. Highly personal, Jessie J reveals her own story in her own words, with all the strength, honesty and passion that she is now famed for. She talks openly about her health issues and a heart condition, and how she discovered her own identity while breaking into the mainstream. This is a real-life read that will both shock and enthrall. (Please note that the book includes some explicit language.)
  • AMYW

    Mitch Winehouse

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    The tragic death of Amy Winehouse in July 2011 shocked her loyal fans. In Amy, My Daughter, her father Mitch Winehouse offers readers full access to the Rehab singer's mischievous early years, her rapid rise to stardom and her losing battle with addiction. Telling her incredible story in full, this book is both powerful and poignant and a fitting tribute to Mitch's much-loved and much-missed daughter. The book brings many layers of the iconic singer's life together - the personal, the private and the public - and contains never-before-seen photographs of Amy, taken from the family album. It describes how, despite a troubled and all-too-short life, Amy has left a musical legacy that will enthrall audiences for many years to come.

    All royalties from this book will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

  • ABLHC

    Judy Golding

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    The Children of Lovers is an interesting, intelligent memoir, written in an engaging and unsentimental style. In 1993, Golding died after an evening with the family, drunk and alone, at about 4am a bad time for a sufferer of night terrors... On the same night, in a nearby room, Judy had a prophetic dream that at last she could think and write whatever she liked. This book, so clear thinking and devoid of self-pity has emerged from that discovery. While William Golding may give The Children of Lovers its heft and weight, the author gives it wings, and her book takes flight in a light-spirited way that those brilliant, brilliant, demon-haunted novels never quite did.

  • ADBCB
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    This is the first of two titles by the Manic Street Preachers' bassist and lyricist, Nicky Wire. For more than twenty years and from Blackwood, Wales to Tokyo, Japan, Nicky Wire has kept a personal visual history of the band in their various stages from "Generation Terrorists" through "Holy Bible" and right up to last year's remarkable album, "Postcards from a Young Man". Edited down from over 1,000 of Wire's personal polaroid's and with accompanying text by the man himself, "Death of The Polaroid" promises to be a rich, visual biography of one of the most loved and iconoclastic British bands of the past two decades.
  • AEHGW

    Lee Evans

    (1)
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    Lee Evans is one of the best-loved comedians in the country; a Hollywood star able to sell out arenas in the blink of eye. But he was not always such a roaring success. "The Life of Lee" is an utterly hilarious and very moving autobiography charting his ups and downs on the way to the top. Lee takes us on a darkly humorous journey through his childhood spent running wild on a Bristol housing estate, his unconventional school days and through a grim teenage period of numerous dead-end jobs. The book also reveals how as a boy Lee got his first taste of showbiz, accompanying his entertainer father around the rowdy, unforgiving working-men's club and theatre circuit. Desperately struggling to be accepted, this quiet young loner always saw himself as an outsider. But he finally met the love of his life and accidentally discovered the one place where he felt at home: the stage.
  • AHTMQ

    Philip Ziegler

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    Hollywood superstar; Oscar-winning director; greatest stage actor of the twentieth century. The era abounded in great actors - Gielgud, Richardson, Guinness, Burton, O'Toole - but none could challenge Laurence Olivier's range and power. By the 1940s he had achieved international stardom. His affair with Vivien Leigh led to a marriage as glamorous and as tragic as any in Hollywood history. He was as accomplished a director as he was a leading man: his three Shakespearian adaptations are among the most memorable ever filmed. And yet, at the height of his fame, he accepted what was no more than an administrator's wage to become the founding Director of the National Theatre. In 2013 the theatre celebrates its fiftieth anniversary; without Olivier's leadership it would never have achieved the status that it enjoys today. Off-stage, Olivier was the most extravagant of characters: generous, yet almost insanely jealous of those few contemporaries whom he deemed to be his rivals; charming but with a ferocious temper. With access to more than fifty hours of candid, unpublished interviews, Philip Ziegler ensures that Olivier's true character - at its most undisguised - shines through as never before.
  • AEQBF

    Nile Rodgers

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    Legendary producer and co-founder of Chic, Nile Rodgers wrote 'We Are Family' for Sister Sledge and 'I'm Coming Out' for Diana Ross before producing Let's Dance for David Bowie and Like a Virgin for Madonna. But before he reinvented pop music, Nile Rodgers invented himself. Le Freak is the personal, moving story of a creative genius. It is also a stunning recreation of an age - told by the man who wrote its soundtrack.
  • AEEFW

    Bear Grylls

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    Bear Grylls is a man who has always sought the ultimate in adventure. Growing up on the Isle of Wight, he was taught by his father to sail and climb at an early age. As a teenager he found identity and purpose through both mountaineering and martial arts, which led the young adventurer to the foothills of the mighty Himalaya and a grandmaster's karate training camp in Japan. On returning home, he embarked upon the notoriously gruelling selection course for the British Special Forces to join 21 SAS - a journey that was to push him to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. Then, in a horrific free-fall parachuting accident, Bear broke his back in three places. It was touch and go whether he would ever walk again. However, only eighteen months later Bear became one of the youngest ever climbers to scale Everest, aged only twenty-three. But this was just the beginning of his many extraordinary adventures...Known and admired by millions, Bear Grylls has survived where few would dare to go. Now, for the first time, Bear tells the story of his action-packed life. Gripping, moving and wildly exhilarating, "Mud, Sweat and Tears" is a must-read for adrenalin junkies and armchair adventurers alike.
  • DIAR

    Diarmuid Gavin

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    His work has long been recognised for its innovation and his reputation for clashes with the so-called gardening 'establishment' are famous. He has won many accolades including Silver Gilt at Chelsea Flower Show, however, arguably his biggest achievement was to popularize gardening through the medium of television and move it away from the exclusive and stultifying atmosphere of a private club. This is Diarmuid's characteristically open and honest account of his chaotic, inspired and infuriating (to himself and others) road to success.

  • BOAT

    Paul Hendrickson

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    Paul Hendrickson provides an invaluable, unforgettable and original portrait of Ernest Hemingway and his beloved boat, Pilar, in Hemingway's Boat. Telling the story of the great American writer by focusing on the boat he wrote on, fished from and loved on, this gives a new insight into the life of a man who became a literary sensation. The biography covers from the pinnacle of Hemingway's fame in 1934 to his suicide in 1961, and this enchanting read showcases the close connection between events in his life and the words that ended up on the pages in his work.
  • YANA

    Jermaine Jackson

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    Illuminating like never before the life of a private man who was thrust into the public eye, You Are Not Alone is Jermaine Jackson's raw and emotional account of his brother Michael's tragically short life. A no-holds-barred examination of Michael Jackson's incredible, incident-packed personal life and career, this honest and intimate hardback is a celebration of the international superstar as a brother and a friend. Sharing laughter, tears and memories, Jermaine brings to life the man behind the mask of superstardom to produce a must-have read for Michael Jackson's millions of fans.