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A Kentish Lad: The Autobiography of Frank Muir
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A Kentish Lad: The Autobiography of Frank Muir

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
For more than twenty-five years Frank Muir, in partnership with Denis Norden, produced some of the most sparkling and original comedy ever written for radio and television. On programmes such as My Word! and My Music his distinctive voice became familiar to millions as he displayed an astonishingly well-stocked mind and a genius for ad libbing and outrageous puns. Later, w ...more
Paperback, 427 pages
Published 1998 by Corgi (first published 1997)
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Jan 29, 2012 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing that one of the funniest people ever on radio could write such a boring memoir.
Bryan Murphy
Jun 20, 2016 Bryan Murphy rated it really liked it
I was never a fan of Frank Muir during his lifetime: he was too Establishment for my taste. I inherited this book from my stepfather, Eric Tipping, another Kentish lad, and started to read it for clues to the dear departed, and found them in a love of words. That carried me into the book and its humour carried me the rest of the way, despite that fact that I have precious little interest in radio or television, never mind nostalgia for the way they were. Muir’s wit and wordplay make even the ...more
If Americans know Frank Muir, it's probably because of the aptly titled An Irreverent and Thoroughly Incomplete Social History of Almost Everything, his children's books about the Afghan hound What-a-Mess, or the BBC Radio quiz program My Word!, carried in reruns by many NPR stations. His autobiography A Kentish Lad reveals that his startlingly accurate knowledge of all things literary was mostly self-taught. This appealing and witty book documents Muir's wartime service as an aerial photographe ...more
Rob Blackmore
Jan 25, 2013 Rob Blackmore rated it really liked it
Many people probably remember him as the bow tied buffer on 'Call my Bluff', or from 'My Word' on the radio, but there's more to Muir than these shows. Frank, (together with Denis Nordern), was a talented scripwriter and producer of pioneering comedy shows in the post war years.

In this very funny and readable autobiography, Frank writes about his seaside childhood in Ramsgate, 'you swam in and swallowed petrol flavoured sea water' and later Leyton, 'I was educated in E10 - not Eaton', before mov
Jan 11, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Frank Muir is a hugely talented man, but it also goes to show how large a part luck and encountering the right people plays in a life. The perfect example is his wife of fifty years, Polly. Muir had that Midas touch of turning opportunity to gold. One other plus is to recognise early what general path you want to follow. He knew at six. He gives very little away on the mechanics of his trade: the source of his material, how he and Norden managed to accumulate and develop the humour to conjure up ...more
Ryan Williams
Jul 04, 2016 Ryan Williams rated it really liked it
This reminded me in part of Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier: a vivid first half followed by a crushingly dull second half. On childhood, Muir - best known to my generation as the creator of What-A-Mess - is spellbinding. Just describing the types of sweets he and his friends ate becomes a high aesthetic adventure. He is less interesting when covering his journey up the entertainment ladder, in which partnering with Dennis Norden counts as a career highlight.
Jun 07, 2015 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Frank Muir was a British radio and TV comedy writer. I enjoyed his sometimes convoluted anecdotes and insider tales of early BBC and TV, even though many of the references and "famous" people were unfamiliar to me.
Matt Larsen
Jan 22, 2015 Matt Larsen rated it really liked it
Its been a while so I probably need to read this again, but certainly remember it as an enjoyable book.
Oct 09, 2011 Jyv rated it liked it
Vaguely interesting. It read like anyone's recollections of their life - I was disappointed at the lack of humour. I read through the world war bits and then got a bit bored with it.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Frank Herbert Muir was an English comedy screenwriter and radio and television personality. From 1977 on he also wrote children's books based on his family dog, What-a-Mess. In 1997 he published his autobiography.
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