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It's Not What You Think

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,260 Ratings  ·  95 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,689)
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Tfitoby
Jun 26, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, bio
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
Mark Speed
Nov 26, 2015 Mark Speed rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, biography
Very much outside my usual reading range - a 'celeb bio'. I was curious to find out what his journey was and how he'd managed to be so phenonenally successful. It's not particularly well-written - in fact, quite clumsy in parts - and at some points it comes across as a bit of an ego-trip when he talks about the famous women he's had relationships with (and the 'references' at the end from his friends, colleagues, family and former lovers is just a bit too much). On the whole, quite interesting. ...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
Jun 13, 2012 Lynsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lynsey by: Samantha
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
Gavin Smith
Top Ten Reasons This Book Is Just OK

10. The first half is mostly just a description of very mundane childhood details.
9. I did not need to know about how Evans' teenage paper round was organised.
8. Nor did I care (even a little) about his first kiss.
7. It's nice that he loves his mum.
6. The chapters are mostly very short, don't really go anywhere, and then end abruptly.
5. I mostly enjoyed Evans' radio and TV shows but he does seem kind of smarmy and obnoxious in writing.
4. The book perks up in t
...more
Sharon
Jul 31, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
I bought this because I really enjoyed the recent TFI Friday return, and also because it was 0.99 for Kindle and I hadn't read an autobiography in a while.

My knowledge of Chris Evans extends only to The Big Breakfast and TFI Friday - I barely remember Don't Forget Your Toothbrush and I've never listened to him on the radio because I'm not in the UK. This book covers the period of time between Chris' childhood and his purchase of Virgin Radio from Richard Branson in the early 00s. Each chapter st
...more
Mark Farley
Mar 18, 2015 Mark Farley rated it really liked it
A very funny and great insight into such a unique and polarizing British personality, exposing a great deal about the tabloid world and fame. Following Chris on his (quite frankly) ruthlessly meteoric rise through radio, how he cheekily got his breaks, how Timmy Mallett was such a mentor and the extent of risk that he took with so much money at his disposal with so little business acumen and experience is quite astonishing. I'm not a follower of Evans on the radio but I am a big fan of his TV wo ...more
Jim
Mar 16, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
It galls me to state this, but the autobiographies of Chris Evans, Danny Baker and Piers Morgan - on the face of it, three totally insufferable big heads - are some of the most easy to read, entertaining and enjoyable autobiographies I’ve read. (I draw the line at Russell Brand, no matter how many rave reviews his Booky Wook gets.)
As ever with me, it’s the days before celebrity hits that I most enjoy reading about. However, the recollections from the old school days endured by Chris Evans do lea
...more
Michael
Mar 31, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
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
Hil
Apr 20, 2015 Hil rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This took me a while to read because I kept going off on diversions down memory lane via Youtube, watching episodes of TFI Friday, Big Breakfast interviews and so on. I am someone who watched all Chris's TV shows (less so Big Breakfast as I already had a problem getting to school on time) and listened to his Radio 1 breakfast show, happily moving over to Virgin when he did. In fact, I remember I would set my alarm to wake up at the crack of dawn to listen to it all! Somewhere beyond T ...more
Mary
Jan 11, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
A great autobiography, loved the style and what a fascinating career so far.
PrettyFlamingo
Jul 14, 2016 PrettyFlamingo rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Chris Evans, always have been, and was so excited to start this book. I read it out of sync, actually, as I picked up Memoirs of a Fruitcake first, but that didn't matter. This book, however, was my definite favourite. Chris has such a readable style - it's as if you are out with him at the pub and he is telling you the story of his life.

I do know quite a lot about Chris and his career, but I particularly liked hearing about growing up in Warrington, his family and his school d
...more
Steven Suttie
Apr 08, 2014 Steven Suttie rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 30, 2011 Andy rated it liked it
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
Scott
May 15, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it. Mr Evans is a fascinating bloke. I always wondered how he'd funded buying Virgin Radio and now I know!
The book itself us split up into very easy to pick up and put down snippets. Mostly are about 3-4 pages long and pre-faced by an amusing Top 10 that hints at the chapter ahead. Very easy to read and if your teenage years were when Chris Evans was in his pomp (early to mid 90's) with The Big Breakfast, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush and the brilliant TFI Friday (I can still remember Th
...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
Maggie
Jul 23, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read which I managed in one sitting sat on a Greek Island Under a palm tree. A funny book describing his hilarious lifestyle. I loved the top 10 lists at the beginning of each chapter which made me smile and set the scene for the next episode of his eventful life. Very readable.
Mark
Nov 15, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical, factual
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
Apr 10, 2010 Sara Lou rated it really liked it
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
Mrs Janet
Jan 15, 2015 Mrs Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just love this book it is so easy to read, it is great that it has short chapters which makes it easy to catch up when a length of time has passed between reading them .Will definitely read his next one .....
Jules Scott
Dec 23, 2014 Jules Scott rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is well written and easy to read. It gives a real insight into Chris' life. I will have to read the second book now to find out more! He seems to be the type of person you either love or hate but although I am not a real fan and can "take or leave" him, I thought he came across well in this book as a really nice guy.
Flavia
Feb 02, 2016 Flavia rated it really liked it
First book which covers childhood up to buying Virgin. Slow to start but pretty interesting to see how connected the radio to TV work was and how production worked around The Big Breakfast. Pretty good read ...
Rachel
Sep 02, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
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
Mar 02, 2014 Natalie rated it it was ok
Blah blah blah, brings back all the memories of why I always disliked this guy
Mark Birchall
Jan 24, 2014 Mark Birchall rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Brian Gilbert
Jan 11, 2016 Brian Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed well written and entertaining
Donna
Aug 26, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
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
Apr 07, 2012 Frances rated it liked it
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
Jun 11, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
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
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Chris Evans is a British radio broadcaster.
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