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Scratching Shed Publishing

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Call the Police – There’s a Comedian Around

A Funny – and Tragic – Memoir of Life in the Met

by Paul Byrne

Paul Byrne joined London’s Metropolitan Police by mistake. By day a Detective Inspector, by night a stand-up comedian, this is a memoir of law enforcement not exactly going to plan. DI Byrne walked a tightrope of death, destruction and disaster, much of it caused by himself. From a near-death experience at the hands of the Australian SAS to causing a diplomatic incident with North Korea, it was a hell of a ride. Yet sucked into a dark and troubling whirlpool of police corruption, eventually he would be forced out of the service a broken man. Paul remains the only serving police officer to be mugged on duty – and the only one to be sacked for writing satire. His story shines an amusing, and at times horrifying, light into the darkest corners of Britain’s largest police force.

“A fascinating account – full of tragic and hilarious stories shot through with Byrne’s wonderful appreciation of the absurdity of life…” – ARTHUR SMITH

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Beware of the Bull – PAPERBACK

(NB: THIS IS PAPERBACK VERSION. HARDBACK CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE)

The labour and the love seep from every page. For Old Molly Metcalfe, for Leopold Alcocks, for Sister Josephine, but mostly for yourself, if your hands aren’t too encumbered, gather a book or two for Jake…”Jon Richardson

“A timely paean to a velvet larynxed, storytelling wonderman…”Cerys Matthews

by Paul Thompson and John Watterson

Beware of the Bull – The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray is the critically-acclaimed first biography of the late, great singer-songwriter.

Admired by Neil Gaiman, Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner and Thea Gilmore, among others, Jake was one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century; a unique talent and master storyteller whose songs are full of wit, poetry, irreverence and humanity.

The book reveals a life as extraordinary as his writing: difficult upbringing in the terraces of Leeds; strict Catholic education; transformative experiences in France and Algeria; time as an inspirational, unorthodox and highly creative teacher; meteoric development as a writer and performer; subsequent discovery by the BBC; Abbey Road recordings and influence on The Beatles; fame, fortune and remarkable television career… and Jake’s rejection of it all.

It is a story of a complex, charismatic and self-effacing man whom many loved, but few understood. Beware of the Bull was written with the full support of the Thackray family. Exclusive access to personal papers has allowed for the inclusion of a wealth of rare poems, photographs and ‘lost’ lyrics.

This paperback edition comes with a new foreword by the comedian Jon Richardson, an afterword by the authors, and further appendices with author Neil Gaiman and the distinguished conductor and composer Sir William Southgate.

*Among the Daily Telegraph‘s pick of the best music books of 2022*

Paperback – 512 pages

*Postage and packing included with UK orders only. Overseas customers may call us direct on 00 44 113 225 9797 during UK office hours, or order via this site and we will then reply to quote the required amount of postage for your country

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