Category: Media, Art & Design / Entertainment
Publication date: 2 May 2002
Number of pages: 400
Frank Skinner is undoubtedly one of the funniest and most successful comedians appearing on British screens. Born Chris Collins in 1957 he grew up in the West Midlands where he inherited his father's passion for football, a West Bromich Albion supporter, along with a liking for alcohol. Expelled from school at 16 Frank held various jobs later going on to gain an MA in English Literature. Nurturing a serious drink problem from the age of fourteen, Frank eventually turned to Catholicism in 1987 and hasn't had a drink since. He performed his first stand up gig in December 1987. His first television appearance in 1988 met with fits of laughter from the audience and 131 complaints, including one from cabinet minister Edwina Currie. He met fellow comedian David Baddiel in 1990 and the two went on to share a flat throughout the early 90's and to create the hit TV series Fantasy Football League. Winner of the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival, Skinner's is a unique mixture of laddish and philosophical humour which has won him the prime time ITV show - The Frank Skinner Show. Here, for the first time, Frank candidly tells us of the highs and lows of his fascinating life and career.
Frank Skinner is one of Britain's best-loved and highest paid comedians. Yet his road to these dizzy heights of success has been a long and bumpy one, as he explains in this candid and highly readable autobiography. Despite his superstar status, Skinner still clings, somewhat endearingly, to his working class roots. He was born Christopher Collins in January 1957, the youngest of four children, and grew up in a council house in the West Midlands. From this humble start, he overcame a number of obstacles, including the dole queue, many years of alcohol abuse and a failed marriage. Skinner's chatty style reads like one of his stand-up comedy routines as he talks about his turbulent youth, his lifelong passion for football, his friendship with comedy partner David Baddiel and his television successes. His random outpourings, as he meanders back and forth between the past and the present, can be confusing; even Skinner loses his way at times, and the word 'anyway' pops up rather frequently as he attempts to get himself back on track. But if you can keep up with his mental gymnastics, and cope with the bawdy subject matter - liberally peppered with swear words - you will find this a fascinating insight into this unlikely star. You may despair at his naivety when he admits to voting Labour purely 'out of a sense of working class duty', but you can't help warming to a man who refuses to sit in the back of his chauffeur-driven car because he'd rather be in the front chatting to the driver. This book is shocking, poignant, compelling, outrageously funny and, above all, searingly honest. It is definitely not for the prudish, but fans of Skinner, and anyone else looking for an entertaining read, will find it hard to put down. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
"Skinner tells this amazing story in a rapid and murky manner" -- David Sexton Evening Standard 20020530 "A rattling good read, written with humour and honesty" -- Lorraine Kelly The Sun 20020530 "Skinner has a pathological need to tell the truth and that can only be to the advantage of any autobiography" Scotsman 20020530 "Skinner has written his own life story - and it's a minor masterpiece ... although his stand-up revelations are far more fun than anything in the tabloids, it's his poignant portrait of his working-class youth that makes it a classic of its kind" The Guardian
Born in January 1957 Frank Skinner grew up in Oldbury and Smethwick in the West Midlands. After various jobs, he performed his first stand up gig in December 1987 and went on to win the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Festival. He often works with his best friend and fellow comedian, David Baddiel; they hosted the incredibly popular Fantasy Football League TV programme and comedy chat show Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned. Together they penned the lyrics for the 1996 English football anthem, 'Three Lions', performed by The Lightening Seeds. Frank is the host of his eponymous and highly popular TV comedy chat show, Frank Skinner's Opinionated.
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