Travelling to Work
Diaries 1988–98, Volume 3
Michael Palin embarked on filming Around the World in 80 Days with some trepidation – it did not seem like a good time to step away from the career he had spent over two decades cultivating. Travelling to Work reveals his doubts and struggles as he worked on a novel, continued to act, and failed to resist the lure of filming Pole to Pole and Full Circle.
Binge Watching London
A Travel Guide Through the Most Emblematic TV Series
London has played a starring role in many films and TV series, from sitcoms such as Absolutely Fabulous to thrillers like The Avengers. Organized around ten walks, each with its own map, this illustrated guide conducts the reader around iconic locations and landmarks including Royal London, as seen in The Crown and Victoria, and the urban crime scenes of Sherlock and Luther.
Rock and Pop on British TV
The Six-Five Special was the BBC’s first attempt to put pop music on television, breaking new ground in 1957 with a live, dancing studio audience. Drawing on interviews and anecdotes from presenters and performers, Jeff Evans analyses the development of music programming on British television, recalling the memorable moments and revealing what went on behind the scenes on shows such as Ready, Steady Go!, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops. Slightly off-mint.
Doctor Who: The Whoniverse
The Untold Story of Space and Time
Compiled by two Doctor Who novelists, this illustrated companion tells the history of the universe through the renegade Time Lord’s encounters with humans and with lifeforms from other planets. After explaining the cause of the Big Bang, it charts the rise of Cybermen and Daleks, describes how Earth has survived many alien incursions and ends in humanity’s final haven of Utopia.
The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film and TV
Identifying Ellis Peters’ Cadfael books as a starting point for a huge expansion in the writing of historical crime, this review of the genre profiles key writers, novels, TV programmes and films, and includes a number of interviews with authors.
The Official Book
One of the most critically acclaimed television series of all time, Breaking Bad ran for 62 episodes between 2008 and 2013. This companion to the complex and original drama includes background information about the production, an exploration of its style, themes and meaning, a complete series timeline with a synopsis of each episode, and character profiles and interviews with members of the production team, including creator Vince Gilligan.
Here's One I Made Earlier
Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s television programme, is known for its famous ‘makes’ – creative projects which transform everyday household objects into toys and gifts. This collection reproduces some of the most memorable designs, including the Advent Crown, the Doll’s House and Tracy Island, and has a foreword by Valerie Singleton and contributions from former presenters and the ‘Queen of Makes’, Margaret Parnell.
More Than Just A Good Life
The Authorised Biography of Richard Briers
Richard Briers' comedic talent and acting pedigree was revealed to an international audience (and to his Hollywood co-stars) through Kenneth Branagh's films of the 1990s but he had long been established as a national treasure in Britain. This biography chronicles the early life and training of the actor (a contemporary of Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney at RADA) and relates anecdotes from his long career in theatre, television, film and radio.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historical Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill
In 1962, a year after the Berlin Wall went up, a group of young West Germans risked imprisonment, torture and death to liberate friends, lovers and even strangers from the East. Based on interviews with the participants, and previously unavailable Stasi and CIA files, this history tells how two US TV networks financed their tunnel-building in return for the rights to screen the escapes, and how JF Kennedy’s White House, fearful of confrontation with Russia, tried to suppress the results.
The Secret Lives of Monsters
Presented as a dossier of evidence for the existence of hostile aliens (gleaned from the evidence provided by the adventures of Doctor Who) this well-illustrated volume explains the origins and nature of 14 extra-terrestrial threats to humankind. Chapters include case files of the Doctor's adventures with each monster, from the Daleks to the Slitheen, and behind-the-scenes insights into how the creatures were created and filmed. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You
Something of a national treasure, thanks to her appearances as the archetypal mum in the Oxo television commercials, Lynda Bellingham (1948–2014) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. In this memoir, she reflects on her life and continuing work while undergoing treatment for the disease as well as her relationships with her family, and her quest to find her birth father, having been adopted in infancy.
While a junior reporter, Michael Parkinson played cricket for Barnsley and counted Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird amongst his team mates. Detailing his rise from local journalist to national broadcaster, this memoir relates his experiences in the television industry over a 40-year period, including the infamous TV-am launch, and his thoughts about the many famous and influential people he interviewed on his long-running chat show and Desert Island Discs.
No Cunning Plan
After stints in regional theatre in Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, Tony Robinson played small parts on television during the 1970s, including presenting Play Away, and began to make his name as a comedian in the early 1980s with the sketch show Who Dares Wins. The Blackadder star reads his engaging autobiography in this 12-CD set.
No Cunning Plan
As one of Fagin's boys in the original production of Oliver!, Tony Robinson's understudy was Steve Marriott, later of the Small Faces, and he'd had a 20-year career in regional theatre and minor television work before Blackadder and Time Team, for which he is now principally known. In this autobiography he discusses his long professional career as well as his childhood in North London and his political and campaigning work.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.
A Celebration of Film and Television
In 1929, three years after two large film stages were built near Elstree in Hertfordshire, the studio produced the first British ‘talkie’, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail. Elstree has since been at the heart of the film and television industry in the UK. This celebration of the studio explores its history through film stills and archive photographs of famous productions from The Dam Busters, The Avengers and Star Wars to The King’s Speech and Strictly Come Dancing.
A Very Courageous Decision
The Inside Story of Yes Minister
In 1980, when Britain had no 24-hour television news, internet, Twitter or demands for ‘transparency’, the cogs of government turned most mysteriously. Public enlightenment came with an intelligent, well-informed and hilarious TV series: Yes Minister and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister, which revealed and mercilessly lampooned what went on in Whitehall and Westminster. Graham McCann tells the story of the series and seeks out the real political fiascos that inspired it. Slightly off-mint.
Unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exalting in the art of Venice or facing down airline staff... life is anything but dull with Sheila Hancock. Following on from The Two of Us, this book describes life on her own, after the death of her husband John Thaw. Having heeded a piece of Quaker advice - 'live adventurously' - she faced the future with characteristic wit, gusto and curiosity.
Jack Duckworth and Me
Bill Tarmey (1941–2012) played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years until his character was killed off during the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. His story of growing up in post-war Manchester, singing in working men's clubs, and then finding his niche playing a rascal whose life uncannily mirrored his own will be cherished by all fans of Britain's longest-running soap.
Joanna Lumley is not only a star of stage and screen but a national treasure. Luckily her magpie instincts have preserved a hoard of memorabilia that make this illustrated memoir a visual feast, with photos from her Indian childhood to the present. There are souvenirs of her early modelling career, her celebrated roles in The New Avengers, The Pink Panther and Absolutely Fabulous and, of course, the causes about which she feels passionate. Slightly off-mint.