A couple of years ago I had the good fortune of being invited to sit in on a broadcast of the Richard Bacon Afternoon Show on Radio 5 live, and appear afterwards on the Daily Bacon Podcast.
A couple of years ago I had the good fortune of being invited to sit in on a broadcast of the Richard Bacon Afternoon Show on Radio 5 live, and appear afterwards on the Daily Bacon Podcast. I say ‘invited’ but I guess I might have press-ganged the generous broadcaster into asking me, having ambushed him at a television recording, greeting him like a long lost friend and offering to hand over some baby blankets for his soon to be new-born son.
Anyway, the point I’m making here is that I happen to be a fan of Mr Bacon although for some strange reason there are some people that describe him as like marmite. I don’t mean dark and slimy, I mean they either like him or loathe him. Some people and Mr Bacon is one of them I believe, can take it or leave it, so actually it is rather a bizarre description. As I said, I like his broadcasting style and so it was with great pleasure that I realised his much awaited autobiography was now out on the shelves. This was excellent timing for two reasons:
1) I had just finished university and was no longer dogged by deadlines
2) I was off to Tesco’s (other supermarkets are available) the following day which meant I could pop it into my trolley along with my cheese, depilatory cream and strawberries…and Bingo! I was set up for the weekend with my own series of unrelated events.
A Series of Unrelated Events is Bacon’s autobiography, subtitled Misadventures of a Modern Man. On Twitter he was asking people to skip the first chapter which tells of his downfall from being a ‘successful children’s television presenter that nobody had heard of to an unsuccessful children’s television presenter that everybody had heard of.’
I however found the first chapter had me laughing, sympathising with him and his parents and thoroughly enjoying the tone of his book. I believe it was a clever idea to start with this chapter in his life as despite the often irreverent attitude to himself in the book you feel that he really cared about how his parents had been affected and that he still feels guilty for what he put them through.
But don’t get me wrong, it is all told in a humorous manner, one you are used to if you are a 5 live listener. You are glad to be able to hear more of the man’s stories that feel like an extended show with him talking and none of the guests having to say a word. (Not that I’m knocking the guests, I just mean it’s good to hear the detail of some of the stories that he has mentioned over the years.)
A chapter on Sally the Psychic is a master class in assuring one doesn’t get sued, and will make you laugh whatever your beliefs. Okay, I’m not sure Sally will be laughing but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. His escapades into film reviews which involved not actually watching the films, nor after a while writing the reviews himself, which just goes to show how much he is either liked, or has influence in the business, as he has recently become a member of BAFTA.
Following Bacon’s style of adding footnotes throughout the chapters, which works brilliantly and reinforces the chatty voice, I feel I should add one myself here along the lines of, ‘I am not suggesting in anyway whatsoever that Mr Bacon does not watch the films he votes for as a member of BAFTA, nor if I’ve dreamt this bit about him becoming a member of BAFTA I do apologise unreservedly. But I do know he is having a cinema built into his home and who does that other than if you have a serious interest in films, or if you are a Premiership footballer, which he isn’t. He doesn’t like football as can be seen from footnote 72.’
(See, unlike some film reviewers from The People I have actually read the piece before reviewing it.)
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Bacon takes us through his time working at McDonald’s, his stint on The Big Breakfast, his wedding day and an unfortunate moment during a dinner party. His ability to laugh at himself and take the reader on a journey of his thoughts on various situations, make this book a perfect read.
Even those who do not enjoy his broadcasts should read this book. I’m pretty sure you would get a better understanding of where his cheeky, tongue-in cheek humour comes from. The stories are entertainingly told, especially the one about the multi-party sex sessions, or lack of them, and how his career could have taken a completely different path thanks to a Military Academy ‘senior brass’ at Sandhurst.
The only thing I disagree with is footnote number one. He has dedicated the book to his son, Arthur, but with the footnote, ‘Arthur, please don’t read this book’. I think this is the perfect book for a son to read. It shows his father in a human light and one day he will be very proud of all the unrelated events he has penned here.
A Series of Unrelated Events, Misadventures of a Modern Man, by Richard Bacon, published by Century, part of the Random House Group. An e-book is also available.