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It's Not What You Think

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  798 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Chris Evans' extraordinary career has seen him become one of the UK’s most successful broadcasters and producers. Here, his autobiography is a funny and frank story of how a boy from a Warrington council estate who started work at 13 and held down 20 different jobs by the time he left school became the most widely acclaimed broadcaster of his generation. From the early dea...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by HarperCollins UK (first published January 1st 2009)
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Tfitoby
10 Fun Memories Involving Me and Chris Evans

10 - Nothing made me late for school more times than The Big Breakfast - I just didn't want to miss a second of that show. It simply wasn't the same when he left.
9 - I spent an unknown quantity of time mimicking his actions on Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, complete with soundtrack.
8 - The last gift my great grandmother ever bought me was the Christmas single from Zig & Zag
7 - Spending Saturdays listening to Rock & Roll Football on Virgin Radio...more
Jules
This autobiography charts part of the life so far of Chris Evans – a Northern British media figure who has, at periods, dominated TV and radio output in the UK.

In recent times I have warmed to Evans as a knowledgeable persona who is gently entertaining and seems to sense what listeners and viewers want. I now listen to him almost daily as he presents the morning drive to work slot on BBC radio 2. It’s worth noting that further back in his career I found Evans a bit loud and brash but this book h...more
Lynsey
I've never been a 'fan' of Chris Evans, but neither has he ever done anything to annoy or offend me! So, I'm not sure I'd have chosen this book for myself, especially given that I tend to shy away from the whole auto/biography genre.

Anyhoo, a good friend lent to me a huge pile of books and this is the one I found myself drawn to first. I picked it for a browse and found it to be really interesting & informative, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next in the saga that is his life.
No o...more
Michael
I did not know much about the British radio and television host Chris Evans other than what I had read online and with British media that is not always flattering for a celebrity. In the past I've downloaded episodes of his podcast to hear interviews he had conducted with musicians and actors but the podcast never really touched on Chris Evans the man.
It's Not What You Think is the story of Evans before he buys his own radio station. If you've read the autobiographies of Chris Moyles, or for Am...more
Steve Suttie
This book is one of the best autobiographies that I've ever read.

Being a bit of a radio geek, the chapters about Chris Evans' early days in radio, after a long day in the papershop were very interesting. I also come from Manchester and listened to Piccadilly Radio (where Evans began) as a child, so the publication of this book was of huge interest.

Piccadilly produced some of todays biggest stars, including Karl Pilkington, Mark Radcliffe and Scott Mills. But none as big, or with such an extraor...more
Andy
I always like Chris Evans, having fond memories of The Big Breakfast, Don't Forget your Toothbrush, the Radio 1 breakfast show and most importantly for me, TFI Friday. That show was a revelation and perfect for my mid-teens britpop years. Down, the line I've fallen out of touch with him, aside from the newspaper headlines a few years back and occasionally catching his Radio 2 show. I have no idea what he's doing currently.

We follow his life as a child in quite a lot of detail, before skipping ah...more
Godzilla
Another biography of a character that I didn't particularly like! I keep doing this to myself, and keep being pleasantly surprised. Perhaps I'm not becoming a stereotypical grumpy old man, rather mellowing with age?

Chris Evans actually comes across as a reasonable bloke in this, but then if you can't make yourself sound good, then who can!?

To be fair he doesn't totally gloss over his relationship faux pas, but neither does he expose his ex-partners to scrutiny.

He's been through a lot and whilst...more
Mark
Well, the book's title was quite well chosen. Despite the media image as cocky, arrogant and self-centred, this book shows that Chris Evans isn't like that really. I guess in writing this book, Chris was forced to go back over past mistakes (and he'd be the first to admit that he's made them) and re-assess the situation. Having read the book it is quite easy to see why he's so popular (and it's not because of the money he's made). His attitude and whole approach to life is very upbeat and refres...more
Sara Lou
I like the way CE put this together with the Top Tens heading every chapter. You can imagine the guy reading this out loud with his usual energetic style and it's a fun inside look into the career of a man who truly adores the world of Radio. It makes Radio sound fun back in the day, makes me yearn for the kind of Radio he talks about, though Radio One may still veer on the kind of shows he describes, there's a nostalgia that seems to linger over the idea of how Evans pieces a show together, how...more
Rachel
Skirts over lots of details and Evans never really acknowledges his poor treatment of others explicitly. I watched the programmes and listened to the radio 1 breakfast show so found it fascinating all the same, despite the air brushing. He treated his radio colleagues appallingly at times and I was very interested to see how he'd behave some years later on Radio 2's drive time slot.

The best stories are the John Cleese and Richard Branson parts. I really enjoyed both.

** so annoying not to have t...more
Natalie
Blah blah blah, brings back all the memories of why I always disliked this guy
Mark Birchall
Great read . Growing up watching and listening to Chris Evans it was wonderful to read the book about how it all started . He seems really honest about his past and the buying of Virgin radio is captivating . Looking forward to part two.
Karen
I LOVED this and would have given it 5 stars if he had taken the story further rather than stop at a point that allows a predictable sequel. He hasn't even proposed to Billy Piper by the end!!!!
He is articulate, funny, insightful and wise. The Top 10's at the beginning of every chapter are spot on. This book should be on the reading lists for management - it imparts so much information about what turns people on and off and how to get the best from people. He is inspirational in a non-conformist...more
Donna
A really inspirational read. Chris Evans comes from the next town to me and I have always been a fan from his TFI and Big Breakfast days. this is a really honest account of his early life and his rise to fame. It sure wasn't handed to him. He was tenacious, daring and a little cheeky (typical of us northerners). What shines through is his attitude. He wants it so he does everything in his power to get it, but not in a malicious way. He has sure made some errors but he doesn't hide from then. A r...more
Frances
He was 31 when he bought Virgin Radio from Richard Branson. TV and Radio presenter, Chris Evan gotta have SOMETHING to achieve that! I always fond of his show TFI Friday when I was in uni back in the mid-90s. Even up till now I still remember vividly how the studio looked like and how exciting the atmosphere was with the live audience.
You cannot compare this autobiography with any other historical figures or politicians because Chris Evan is not quite a legend yet but his colorful life (so far)...more
Mark
Not a big fan of celebrities in general, but I did used to enjoy TFI Friday as a teenager and was curious to know the story behind the story of Evans fall from the grace of the media spotlight. This book is rich with stories in the entertainingly snappy style CE is known for, but also offers insight and honest reflection into the often crazy world of a creative yet highly impulsive ginger-haired man. All in all a very enjoyable read - especially his interactions with Richard Branson, which left...more
Angela
Aug 04, 2012 Angela marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
Thank you Poundland! I've been wanting to read this for a while as I have such a soft spot for the Chris Evans. I've loved him since I was a child and my mother would let me stay up to watch 'Don't Forget Your Toothbrush' (coincidently, that show is also where my love for Jools Holland comes from. I would also get up early to watch 'Big Breakfast', not to mention how much I loved 'TFI Fruday' (Friday nights have been crap ever since this stopped).
Chris Wood
I was initially a little embarrassed to find myself wanting to read Chris Evans' autobiography as I'm not a great fan of modern celebrity biographies (see: Cheryl Cole, Jordan, etc).

However this book was a very light but interesting read. Great for bedtime reading too as it's made up of short but snappy chapters.

It's easy to think of celebrities as shallow, but Chris is somebody with surprising depth, determination and insight.
Aunty Janet
I found some of this interesting and liked the 'top 10' at the start of each chapter. I suppose he's got a right to be self-congratulatory, but I did wonder if his description of the ending of all those relationships was quite as amicable as he suggested! He's obviously worked hard to get where he is, but I was more interested in his post 'big breakfast' days, so will have to read the sequel to get to that. Clever!
Barry Bridges
This was an autobiography that you just can't stop reading. He's younger than me but shows what you can achieve if you really really want it enough. The story flows and entices and each chapter sort of ends with it's own cliffhanger to force you into the next. A very accomplished book from a worthy storyteller. Made all the more poignant by the letters from firends at the end!!
Keith Lawrence
Really enjoyable - especially with Chris reading it himself...
Katrina
My hardcover copy of this book only has 334 pages not 352 as the description states.

Unlike Dawn French's book "Dear Fatty," this is a more traditional autobiography, but that's not keeping me from treating it as a collection of essays and reading a chapter here and there along with all of the other essay and short story books I'm currently reading.
Peter
I heard Evans talk about this book and his life experiences at the Cheltenham Literature Festival - the audience found it very moving. I was a little sceptical about his self-analysis and re-creation but I think he might be a genuine bloke. His book rattles along and he's not afraid to admit to some pretty poor behaviour.
Janet
Everyone in the UK 'knows' all about Chris Evans - how could they not? But do they *really* know? In his autobiography Chris is very open about his faults and arrogant behaviour of the past - we get a feel for how he has grown up - in public. My only disappointment was that it ended too soon - roll on part 2!
Anna Liddle
Even if your not a particular fan of Chris Evans, as I am not, it is still a very entertaining and honest account of his rise and rise in various media spheres. I actually got to quite like him, despite the obvious huge (acknowledged) ego. I'm also now looking forward to reading the next chapter of his life.
Karen
This book is entertaining and has you laughing but I did not enojoy it as much as other autobiography's I have read by other people. I did also find the rags to riches story at the beginning a bit too long and did find myself skipping some bits of it. But I am glad I read it and would recommend it.
David Betts
Read this out of order ie after the sequel. Didn't really make any difference. Similar comments apply as to the other book. Some good advice here for people starting out about working hard and taking opportunities... also about how to spot the first signs that you are going off the rails.
Sean Elvidge
A very well written autobiography. I think a lot of people think they 'know' Chris Evans but this book might make them think differently. Evans has lead a very 'up and down' life and was very interesting. Also ideal to read in chunks given the relative short, self contained, chapters.
Catherine
I really liked this book. It was punchy with short chapers and informative and many times self deprecating. I feel I really got to know how Chris Evans has achieved so much. Also I loved the top tens at the beginning of eac chapter. He comes across as a really nice guy.
Liz Neville
This is a surprisingly well-written, enjoyable book. Well done Mr Evans. Though I think I'll wait a while before going for the second installment... Reading about show business and other people's vast fortunes can make one feel a tad insignificant after a while.
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Chris Evans is a British radio broadcaster.
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