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Still Standing: The Savage Years

(Paul O'Grady Autobiography #3)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,210 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Lilian Maeve Veronica Savage, international sex kitten, was born on the steps of The Legs of Man public house, Lime Street, Liverpool on a policeman’s overcoat. Her mother, the lady wrestler Hell Cat Savage, had no such luxuries as gas and air. She just bit down on the policeman’s torch and recovered afterwards at the bar with a large pale ale…

Paul O'Grady shot to fame via
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by Transworld Digital
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Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the second biography by Paul O'Grady I have read and he really does know how to tell a story. This is another entertaining read that will bring a smile to your face as he relates the Lily Savage years. Told in his unique, humorous and endearing style this is a very funny read but tinged with a few moving stories along the way.

When a book opens with a story about a naked dwarf tugging on someone's quilt moaning that they can't get into the toilet because a drunk Snow White has passed out
Bit repetitive in places but genuinely down to earth. It's obviously been wrote with care and sentiment which shines through.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished reading Paul O'Grady's 3rd instalment of his autobiography which has left me with mixed feelings.

I really enjoyed the stories of performing around the UK in various different acts and groups. The tales are set before Lilly found her legs and won the admiration and affection of the Gay scene and the public through his TV shows. I loved the tales of interactions, the put down lines and the description of the dives played. It guaranteed a few looks on the tube because of the sm
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the previous offerings from Paul and I think he was right to split his life up like this and be able to tell more stories.

The first two made me laugh out loud but this one didn't. It was excellent though. Of course he has struggled and this book does tell of some of the struggles and his indecision whether to carry on with Lily when things got tough. I have read some reviews and some people felt that it wasn't cheery and as funny as his previous book containing a lot of deaths. Well
Another great book from Paul O'Grady. Frank & honest, you can almost hear him saying it. ...more
Aoife Lennon
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Paul, he's so acid with his humour. This book is just as good as his two previous ones. Brilliant - could not put it down! Paul is the best!
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and well written, which is a rare thing in a autobiography. Captures London in a time gone by. And who doesn't like a bit of drag?
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant read. Very sad in places but a good read
Mike Clarke
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul O'Grady's third volume of autobiography is tinged with a kind of autumn sadness as so many of the astonishing characters it features are no longer with us. At the same time it's just as sharp, witty and packed with anecdote as either of the previous parts. What sets O'Grady apart from run of the mill ghosted celebrity twaddle is the he's genuinely more interested in other people than himself. So while there's a fine sprinkling of famous pals - Cilla, Beryl, Biggins et al - the stories about ...more
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have long been a fan of Paul O'Grady and have read his previous two books (At My Mother's Knee & The Devil Rides Out). He always makes me laugh and I love his open honesty. He's not afraid to say what he thinks and I admire that.
This book starts in the years just before Lily Savage came about, Paul spends his time doing drag acts in seedy pubs and clubs with his friends, this book is packed with reminiscent tales of their adventures, successes and failures. With a host of characters that would
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quiet as laugh out loud as O'Grady's other two tomes but as this is set throughout the 1980s and the gay scene is covered with the spectre that is HIV and Aids, that comes as no surprise. There some funny tales but there are quite a few different people dying. It is very sad and poignant when Paul visits Birkenhead when his mum dies and when he eventually has to clear the house out and move back to London. Well worth the read to find out how Lily Savage came about and the various coincidence ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This man is the most talented person every. I have now read all 3 of his books and they are amazing. This one does have a lot of sad moments but so well written.
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Same ISBN but with 412 pages as opposed to Goodreads' 352]

The final installment of Paul O'Grady's autobiographical trilogy, Still Standing is predominately about the 80s with some of the 2010s thrown in. Yes it misses the 90s and will probably be a disappointment to those looking for a star sodden kiss-and-tell account full of name dropping; Paul's life in the 90s is probably best summed up by the wealth of video material and print interviews of the time, with any gaps filled in with Paul O'gra
I thought this book was an excellent read and I totally enjoyed it from start to finish.

‘Still Standing’ is the third (and as he says final) in the trilogy of autobiographies written by Paul O’Grady and this one charts his life from the birth of Lily Savage (his drag comedy alter ego) and tracks his career as he (she) tours Britain and parts of Europe non-stop, observing all aspects of life as he (she) goes.

The beauty for me in this book is the way that O’Grady delivers a turn of phrase. I have
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
Not bad. Chronicles Paul O'Grady's years touring the clubs and pubs across Britian and in Europe in drag, the early years of his character Lily Savage who didn't really become famous until after the end of this book. Kind of disappointed that we didn't the the story of "Lily" hitting the big time. It ended just as Mr. O'Grady was starting to get acting jobs in television and subsequent to that, Lily as a phenomenon took off apparently. This is the story of his years as a struggling performer, th ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great instalment from Paul O'Grady. However I have to agree with the other reviews, this isn't 'The Savage Years', it's more like, 'Rise of The Savage'.
He does apologise in the intro for stretching his 'memoirs' into three volumes already, but there's obviously another few instalments to come.
I don't mind this at all, even as you read, you can sense there's so much more being left out. At least there is genuine storytelling here, not some scant ghost written facts stretched out to a boo
Porl Yates
Enjoyed it and flew through it in no time. Quite disappointed that just as Paul (Lily) was gaining notoriety and success it jumped forward to 2012 and the Battersea Dogs Home programme.
What about the early appearances on This Morning...? Blankety Blank? The Big Breakfast? The Lily Savage Show and the Bingo sitcom Eyes Down???? All missing and from the final chapter it does not look as if Paul has saved it for, or will indeed be writing another book.
I liked it but of the three "At My Mother's Kn
Charlotte Wills
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Paul O'Grady and love reading his books. This book is funny and sad yet Paul comes across in his unique, down the earth and straight to the point personality which I find refreshing in this day and age. He talks openly about his troubles and strain of giving birth to the blond bombsite that is the unforgettable Lily Savage and the struggles of living in London during the HIV and anti-gag riots as well as personal tragedy. He will make you laugh, cry and nod your head in agreement. One of ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: julie-read
I don't usually read autobiographies, but I have enjoyed all Paul O'Grady's autobiography volumes. Because I am in a caring profession, I really admire him for all the caring jobs he did before he hit the big time. He is authentically caring and loving to all his friends and family. You laugh and cry reading his books. I do agree with some of the other reviewers, that he left a big gap still between late 80s and now. I think he will write another one or two volumes. I don't mind. I can't get eno ...more
Hazel Stanton
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third and last(apparently) in his series and unfortunately my least favourite. Now that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, I did but I felt it had lost the heart that was in the other books. Perhaps that is due to the rushed ending, the sudden jump in years seemed odd and left me wanting to know what had happened during that period especially as the previous books contained microscopic detail which really painted a gorgeous picture in the readers mind. Go on Mister O'Grady you know you ...more
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Paul. Not quite sure why, he can be a bit over sentimental, but he wears nice suits and has some cracking pets. But seriously, this is the third and last instalment of his auto bio. The first two were cracking reads. The last one was less engaging. It concentrates on Lily S and I am not actually that interested in drag acts. The ending felt completely rushed. It kind of just stopped dead. There is no mention of life after Lily and as there aren't going to be anymore that is a bit odd. You ...more
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, however I am disappointed that Paul O'Grady chose to end the story at his Mothers death and not explain how he came to get Lily Savage on the television and to be on the Big Breakfast show and the other television shows he made.
He brought us up to date while managing to miss this important part of his life out altogether thats why it only rates a 4 star and not a 5.
Lisa Bennett
I feel totally cheated by this book. Its about his struggle to become the tv personality and his climb to get to that point. Then if ends it and jumps to 2012 missing out over a decade of book and proclaiming that basically that's it as it was only meant to be a 3 book deal. This means that unless he writes a 4th book , Im not gonna get to read the story i wanna read which was the purpose of buying the book in the first place. I feel ripped off!
Carla Monsoon
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am sincerely hoping that Paul writes more books they are highly amusing, thought provoking and make you laugh out loud many times throughout.
This final part of the 3 (so far!!) was just as funy, poignant and truthful as his previous 2, read them quickly as found very hard to put down.
Please make sure you write more Paul, your books are eagerly awaited!
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
I'm a fan of Paul's and was keen to read his third offering, which I zipped through quickly. However, I was disappointed that he missed Lily's rise through TV fame out completely. The by-line on the front of the book tells us this is "The Savage Years". By stopping Lily's story where it did, the book failed to deliver as promised. Having said that, it's still a good read, which fans will enjoy.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
This final instalment of Paul O Grday's autobiography is perhaps the most poignant. It is the '80s and AIDS rears it's ugly head. Paul, now working as a drag artist has seen many friends struck down by the disease, and a rise in homophobia.
In the midst of all this a star is born....Lily Savage.
I laughed, I cried, I loved this book.
Sarah Reason
I never tire of Paul o'Grady's writing. One can hear his voice in every syllable and as with the first two volumes, many laugh-out-loud moments. There is much sadness is this book, since it covers the AIDS era and the death of Paul's beloved mother, but as with everything he does, it left me loving him more. The world is a better place because Lily's creator is in it.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul O'Grady's personality and amazing sense of humour really shine through just like his previous books! The way he portrays the characters he has known throughout his life makes you wish that you knew them as well! Impressed once more!
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was well written just like he would be sitting with you and telling him his story, it is sad but humourous in places, well worth the read. It is the last in the trilogy and I've enjoyed all of them.
If you like Paul O' Grady read his books, I can highly recommend them.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third volume of memoirs from Paul O'Grady is just as enjoyable as the first.
The only disappointment is the tacked-on ending, which sort of brings his story up to date, skipping over too many years. A fourth volume is definitely required!
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Paul James Michael O'Grady MBE (born 14 June 1955) is an English comedian, television presenter, actor, writer and radio DJ. He is best known for presenting the daytime chat television series, The Paul O'Grady Show and, more recently, Paul O'Grady Live, as well as his drag queen comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, as whom he performed in various television series including Blankety Blank (1997–1999) a ...more

Other books in the series

Paul O'Grady Autobiography (4 books)
  • At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints
  • The Devil Rides Out
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