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Funny Bones – My Life in Comedy – Hardback

By Freddie Davies, with Anthony Teague

With a foreword by Ken Dodd

In 1964, a single appearance on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks made ‘Parrotface’ comedian Freddie Davies famous overnight. Spectacular success followed, stars such as Judy Garland, Cliff Richard, even Cary Grant, were fans…

But when it all began to slip in the 1980s, Freddie became a producer and then forged yet another career as a serious actor. He appeared to great acclaim in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden and cult film Funny Bones – alongside Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis – based on tales of Freddie’s music hall comic grandfather Jack Herbert. Now he has come full circle, delighting audiences again as Samuel Tweet in theatres up and down the land.

Fifty years on from his television debut, Freddie finally tells his own story, revealing for the first time the tragedy behind his early days in Salford and a family secret that rocked his world. He paints a vivid and hilarious picture of a gruelling apprenticeship in the Northern clubs – revealing how ‘Parrotface’ spluttered into life.

With a foreword by legendary comic Ken Dodd, this unique autobiography is a poignant and hilarious evocation of a vanished world, offering insights into the art of stand-up and a richly nostalgic treat for comedy connoisseurs.

PAPERBACK EDITION ALSO AVAILABLE

Price: £19.99

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Funny Bones – My Life in Comedy – Paperback

By Freddie Davies, with Anthony Teague

With a foreword by Ken Dodd

In 1964, a single appearance on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks made ‘Parrotface’ comedian Freddie Davies famous overnight. Spectacular success followed, stars such as Judy Garland, Cliff Richard, even Cary Grant, were fans…

But when it all began to slip in the 1980s, Freddie became a producer and then forged yet another career as a serious actor. He appeared to great acclaim in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden and cult film Funny Bones – alongside Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis – based on tales of Freddie’s music hall comic grandfather Jack Herbert. Now he has come full circle, delighting audiences again as Samuel Tweet in theatres up and down the land.

Fifty years on from his television debut, Freddie finally tells his own story, revealing for the first time the tragedy behind his early days in Salford and a family secret that rocked his world. He paints a vivid and hilarious picture of a gruelling apprenticeship in the Northern clubs – revealing how ‘Parrotface’ spluttered into life.

With a foreword by legendary comic Ken Dodd, this unique autobiography is a poignant and hilarious evocation of a vanished world, offering insights into the art of stand-up and a richly nostalgic treat for comedy connoisseurs.

LIMITED HARDBACK EDITION ALSO AVAILABLE 

Price: £14.99

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All the Wrong Notes – Adventures in Unpopular Music

“…a very very funny and informative book . If you like good writing and folk music then you will love this.” – Norma Waterson

By Dave Hadfield

With an introduction by Bernard Wrigley

For almost 50 years, Dave Hadfield has followed the genres of music that grabbed his youthful heart and mind. Now, in ALL THE WRONG NOTES, he has written not just a musical memoir, but a personal and social history of the last half-century.

Like a Zelig with a finger in his ear, he has been where folk music has happened and describes it, affectionately but warts-and-all, in a way it has never been described before.

Hadfield’s sure ear for quirks and eccentricities produces unique takes on major figures like Bob Dylan, Ewan MacColl and Leonard Cohen. It celebrates the foot-soldiers and their role in keeping left-field music alive.

Humorous and provocative in equal measure, ALL THE WRONG NOTES is the key to a fascinating world of music.

DAVE HADFIELD has been a journalist and author for 40 years. This is his eighth book. He lives in Bolton with his wife, various children and an alphabetical CD collection.

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Broken Time – The Complete Script

By Mick Martin

Lewy Jenkins is a young Welsh rugby player, lured north by the promise of money and sporting glory; the David Beckham of his day. Lewy’s sweetheart, Bessie Butterworth, is a rising star of the music hall. Beautiful and flirtacious, life has taught her harsh lessons.

These are the protagonists at the centre of Broken Time, a critically-acclaimed play by award-winning playwright Mick Martin. Set in Victorian Yorkshire, where fictional West Broughton Rugby Club are enduring a torrid run of defeats, it is a story of Corinthian idealism and class struggle amid the Industrial Revolution and tumultuous events that led to the historic rugby league – rugby union split of 1895.

After an eye-catching tour across the North of England, the complete script of Broken Time is published here for the first time. This edition also contains a foreword by Mick Martin himself and a specially commissioned introduction by respected rugby historian Professor Tony Collins.

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On Behalf of the Committee – A History of Northern Comedy

by Tony Hannan

From the Industrial Revolution to our own digital age – via music hall, Variety theatre, working men’s clubs, radio, cinema and television – in times of national and international strife, British spirits have been lifted by the comedians of England’s north. On Behalf of the Committee is a lively, witty and keenly-researched investigation into why this should be so. It is also a rich and comprehensive celebration of those who have made us laugh. Hardback, 656 pages.

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From the Industrial Revolution to our own digital age – via music hall, Variety theatre, working men’s clubs, radio, cinema and television – in times of national and international strife, British spirits have been lifted by the comedians of England’s north. Whether it be George Formby, Gracie Fields and Tommy Handley in wartime, or Mike Yarwood and Morecambe & Wise in the gloomy and recession-hit 1970s, northern-born comedians have given us comfort and reassurance just when we need it most. As such, northern comedy has most often been characterised as self-deprecating, homely, down-to-earth and gormless; the ‘maternal’ yin to London’s self-aggrandising, overtly political and aggressively ‘paternal’ gag-cracking yang. On Behalf of the Committee is a lively, witty and keenly-researched new book which investigates why this should be so. Written by Yorkshire-born author, journalist and lifelong comedy buff Tony Hannan, it both chronicles and attempts to define the northern comedy genre, while celebrating the historic contributions of such national favourites as Al Read, Frank Randle, Hylda Baker, Jimmy Clitheroe, Les Dawson, Victoria Wood, Vic and Bob, Steve Coogan, Caroline Aherne, Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay. As a result, On Behalf of the Committee is a richly rewarding reappraisal of British comedy history and cliché-free confirmation that, it seems, you really do have to laugh – or else you’d cry.

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